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London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Leeds, Manchester, New York 
Melbourne, Paris, and Leipzig 

W. H. B. 

When we were little wandering boys, 

And every hill was blue and high, 
On ballad ways and martial joys 

We fed our fancies, you and I. 
With Bruce we crouched in bracken shade, 

With Douglas charged the Paynim foes; 
And oft in moorland noons I played 

Colkitto to your grave Montrose. 

The obliterating seasons flow — 

They cannot kill our boyish game. 
Though creeds may change and kings may go, 

Yet burns undimmed the ancient flame. 
While young men in their pride make haste 

The wrong to right, the bond to free, 
And plant a garden in the waste, 

Still rides our Scottish chivalry. 

Another end had held your dream — 

To die fulfilled of hope and might, 
To pass in one swift rapturous gleam 

From mortal to immortal light — 
But through long hours of labouring breath 

You watched the world grow small and far. 
And met the constant eyes of Death 

And haply knew how kind they are. 

One boon the Fates relenting gave— 

Not where the scented hill-wind blows 
From cedar thickets lies your grave, 

Nor mid the steep Himalayan snows. 
Night calls the stragglers to the nest, 

And at long last 'tis home indeed 
For your far-wandering feet to rest 

Forever by the crooks of Tweed. 

In perfect honour, perfect truth, 

And gentleness to all mankind, 
You trod the golden paths of youth. 

Then left the world and youth behind. 
Ah no ! Tis we who fade and fail — 

And you from Time's slow torments free 
Shall pass from strength to strength and scale 

The steeps of immortality. 

Dear heart, in that serener air. 

If blessed souls may backward gaze, 
Some slender nook of memory spare 

For our old happy moorland days, 
I sit alone, and musing fills 

My breast with pain that shall not die. 
Till once again o'er greener hills 

We ride together, you and I. 


In the following pages I have not attempted to write 
a complete biography of Montrose, but to tell simply 
and directly the story of a career which must rank 
among the marvels of our history, and to provide 
materials for the understanding of a mind and char- 
acter which seem to me in a high degree worthy of 
the attention of modern readers. Hence I have 
passed rapidly over his early years, and told in detail 
only the incidents from his first raising of the Royal 
Standard in Scotland till his death. To avoid clog- 
ging the text, all references to the voluminous author- 
ities and discussions of controversial points have been 
relegated to the notes at the end of the book. Every 
student of Montrose is in debt to a host of pre- 
decessors, and due acknowledgment will be found in 
the bibliographical note on page 295. 

J. B. 




- 13 


The Strife in Scotland . 



The First Covenant Wars 

• 31 


Montrose and Argyll 

. 43 


The Rubicon .... 

. s^ 


The Curtain Rises . 

. 69 


Tippermuir .... 

• 79 


Aberdeen and Fyvie. 

• 94 


Inverlochy . . . . , 

. 107 


The Retreat from Dundee 

, 122 


Auldearn ...... 






Kilsyth ...... 



The War on the Border , 



After Philiphaugh . . . . 



X\I. Till. Years of Exile . . .211 

XVII. TnK Last Campaign . . .233 

Will. The Curtain Falls . . .247 

XIX. "A Candidate for Immortality". 271 

Notes 295 

Index . . . • • • • '3^^ 


The Marquis of Montrose, 1649 . 

(After the portrait painted by Honthorst for the 
Queen of Bohemia, in the collection of the 
Earl of Dalhousie.) 


Montrose at Seventeen 

(After the portrait by Jameson, in the collection 
of the Earl of Southesk.) 

King Charles I. 

(After the portrait by Vandyke, in the Scottish 
National Portrait Gallery). 

James, first Duke of Hamilton . 

(After the portrait by Vandyke, in the collection 
of the Duke of Hamilton.) 

Archibald Campbell, first Marquis of 

(After the Newbattle portrait, in the collection 
of the Marquis of Lothian.) 

Archibald, first Lord Napier 

(After the portrait by Jameson, in the collection 
of Lord Napier and Ettrick.) 

Alexander Leslie, first Earl of Leven 

(After the portrait by Jameson, in the collection 
of Miss Leslie Melville.) 

William, ninth Earl of Glencairn 

(After the portrait, in the Scottish National 
Portrait Gallery.) 

Prince Rupert 

After the portrait by Sir Peter Lely, in the 
National Portrait Gallery.) 

George Gordon, second Marquis of 

(After the portrait by Vandyke, in the collection 
of the Duke of Buccleuch.) 

David Leslie, first Lord Newark 

(After the portrait by Sir Peter Lely, in the collec- 
tion of the Earl of Rosebery.) 

Facing page 18 










Archibald, second Lord Napier . Facing page 204 

(After the portrait bv Jameson, in the collection 
of Loril Napier and Ettrick.) 



Queen Henrietta Maria . . • .. » 

{After thp portrait by Vandyke, in the Scottish 
National Portrait Gallery.) 

William. Earl of Lanark, and John 
Maitland. first Dike of Lauder- 
dale u* " ' 

(Alter the p<irtrait bv Cornelius Janssen, in the 
Scottish National Portrait Gallery.) 

Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia . . „ ,. 226 

(After the portrait by Miereveldt, in the National 
PorUait Gallery.) 

Tomb of Montrose in St. Giles's Church, 

Edinblrgh . . . . • • .. »» 200 

(From a photograph by F. C. Inglis.) 


The Campaign of Tippermuir and 

Aberdeen Facing f age 88 

The Battle of Aberdeen . . . ,, „ 98 

The Campaign of Inverlochy . . . ,, ,, 112 

The Campaign of Dundee and Auldearn „ „ 128 

The Battle of Auldearn . . . ,. „ 140 

The Campaign of Alford . . . . „ ,, 148 

The Battle of Alford . . . . „ „ 152 

The Campaign of Kilsyth. . . . ,, ,, 162 

The Battle of Kilsyth ....,, ,, 170 

The Campaign of Philiphaugh . . „ ,, 186 

The Campaign of Carbisdale . . . ,, ,. 238 

Nine of the mzpn and plans are taken from Mr. S. R. Gardiner's The 
Grttt Ctnl War, Vol. II., by permission of Messrs. Longmans, Green and 
Co. Tbey have bertn redrawn and, in some cases, revised. 

The crown and motto on the cover are copied from the Declaration 
by MontroM at thr b<-t(iniiing of his campaign in 1644, and preserved 
( Um papcn of the Napier family. 





The " Highland Line " in the Scottish mainland, 
though often determined variously by political needs, 
has been fixed by nature with sufficient clearness. 
The true battlement of the hills runs with a north- 
easterly slant from Argyll through the shire of Dum- 
barton, and then turns northwards so as to enclose 
the wide carselands of Tay. Beyond lie the tumbled 
wildernesses stretching with scarcely a break to Cape 
Wrath ; south are the Lowlands proper around Forth 
and Clyde till these in turn end in the hills of Tweed 
and Galloway. Scotland had thus two Borderlands — 
the famous line of march with England, and the line, 
historically less notable but geographically clearer, 
which separated plain from hill, family from clan, and 
for centuries some semblance of civilization from its 
stark opposite. The northern Border may be defined 


as the southern portion of Dumbarton or Lennox, the 
shire of Stirling, and the haughs of the lower Tay. 
There for centuries the Lowlander looked out from 
his towns and castles to the blue mountains where 
lived his ancestral foes. Dwelling on a frontier makes 
a hardy race, and from this northern Border came 
famous men and sounding deeds. Drummonds, 
Murrays, Erskines, and Grahams were its chief 
families, but most notably the last. What the name 
of Scott was in the glens of Teviot, the name of 
Graham was in the ^•alleys of Forth and Earn. Since 
the thirteenth century they had been the unofficial 
wardens of the northern Marches. 

The ancient nobility of Scotland does not show well 
on the page of history. The records of the great earl- 
doms — Angus, Mar, Moray, Huntly — tell too often 
an unedifying tale of blood and treason. After the 
day of the Good Lord James, St. Bride of Douglas 
might have wept for her children. But the family 
of Graham kept tolerably clean hands, and played an 
honourable part in the national history. Sir John the 
Graeme was the trusted friend of Wallace, and fell 
gloriously at Falkirk. His successors fought in the 
later wars of independence, thrice intermarried with 
the royal blood, and gave Scotland its first primate. 
In 1451 the family attained the peerage. The third 
Lord Graham was made Earl of Montrose, when the 
short-lived Lindsay dukedom lapsed, and the new 

YOUTH. 15 

earl died with his king in the steel circle at Flodden. 
A successor fell at Pinkie ; still another became viceroy 
of Scotland when James the Sixth mounted the English 
throne. The viceroy's son, apart from a famous brawl 
in the Edinburgh High Street, chose the quiet life of 
a country laird. He was a noted sportsman, a great 
golfer, and a devotee of tobacco. His wife was Lady 
Margaret Ruthven, a daughter of the tragically fated 
house of Gowrie, who bore him six children, and died 
when her only son was in his sixth year. The family 
were rich as the times went, owning broad lands in 
Stirling, Perth, and Angus, and wielding the influence 
which the chief of a house possesses over its numerous 
cadets. They had three principal dwellings — the tower 
of Mugdock in Strathblane, the fine castle of Kincardine 
in Perthshire where the Ochils slope to the Earn, and 
the house of old Montrose which Robert Bruce had 
given to a Graham as the price of Cardross on Clyde. 

James Graham, the only son of the fourth earl and 
Margaret Ruthven, was born, probably in the town of 
Montrose, some time in the year 16 12. Of his five 
sisters the two eldest were married young — Lilias to Sir 
John Colquhoun of Luss, and Margaret to a wise man 
of forty, the first Lord Napier of Merchiston. Their 
houses were open to the boy when he tired of catch- 
ing trout in the little water of Ruthven, or wearing 
out horse-shoes on the Ochils, as the bills of the 


Abcruthven blacksmith testify. There was much in the 
w.iy of adventure to be had at Rossdhu, Lady Lilias's 
new dwelling, and there the young Lord James may have 
learned, from practising on the roebuck and wild goats 
of Lochlomondside, the skill which made him later so 
noted a marksman. 

At the age of twelve a certain Master William Forrett 
received the boy to prepare him for the University of 
Glasgow. To him Lord James journeyed with a valet, 
two pages, a quantity of linen and furniture, and his 
favourite white pony. He lived in the town house of 
Sir George Elphinstone of Blythswood ; and the avenues 
to learning must have been gently graded, for he had 
always the happiest memory of those Glasgow days and 
of Master Forrett, who in later years became the tutor 
of his sons. He seems to have read Xenophon and 
Seneca, and an English translation of Tasso ; but his 
favourite book, then and long afterwards, was Raleigh's 
History of the fVorldy no doubt the splendid folio of the 
first edition. 

In the second year of Glasgow study the old earl 
died, and Lord James posted back to Kincardine. 
Thither came the whole race of Grahams for the 
funeral ceremonies, which lasted some fifty days. A 
prodigious quantity of meat and drink was consumed, 
and if such mourning had its drawbacks, at any rate 
it introduced the new head of the family to those of 
his name and kin. He did not return to Glasgow. 

(1,70) ^ * 

YOUTH. 17 

but presently was entered at St. Salvator's College, 
St. Andrews, of which one of his forebears had been 
a pious founder. Master Forrett brought his posses- 
sions from Glasgow, and with his own hands bestowed 
those valuable items, the books, in a proper cabinet. 
From the papers which Mark Napier has printed 
we know many of the details of the St. Andrews 
days. He began the study of Greek, and read widely 
in the classics, more especially Cassar and Lucan. Nor 
did he neglect romances, and no doubt he began the 
art of verse-making, of which his books contain many 
examples. In sport his tastes were catholic — hunting, 
hawking, horse-racing, archery, and golf claiming his 
attention in turn. His rooms at St. Salvator's were 
hung round with bows, and in his second year he won 
the silver medal for archery, which to the end of his 
college course he held against all comers. The Earl 
of Argyll, who was some years his senior, had carried 
off the same trophy. Happy and well dowered, 
popular with all classes, he varied his residence at 
St. Andrews with visits to his brothers-in-law and the 
cadet gentry of his name, and with entertainments on 
a generous scale at Kincardine. When his sister 
Dorothea married Sir James Rollo there was huge 
feasting in Edinburgh and Fifeshire, and the young 
earl returned to college only to fall sick. Two 
doctors were summoned, who charged enormous fees 

and prescribed cards, chess, and dieting. The barber 
(1,744) 2 


shore awav his long brown curls, and *' James Pett's 
dochter " attended to the invalid's food. It sounds 
high feeding for what was probably an attack of in- 
digestion — trout, pigeons, capons, " drapped eggs," 
calfs-foot jelly, grouse (out of season), washed down 
by " liquorice, whey, possets, aleberry, and claret." 

In those days the business of life crowded fast on 
boyhood. After the university came marriage as the 
next step in a gentleman's education. Not far from old 
Montrose stood Kinnaird Castle, where Lord Carnegie 
dwelt with six pretty daughters. There the young 
Montrose had visited, and there he fell in love with 
the youngest girl. Lady Magdalen. The match was 
too desirable for opposition either from the Carnegies 
or the young lord's guardians, and the two children 
— Montrose was scarcely seventeen — were married in 
the chapel of Kinnaird on November lo, 1629. 
According to the marriage contract, they were to spend 
the next four years at Kinnaird till the bridegroom 
came of age. They were years of quiet study, the 
leisurely preparation which is all too rare in youth 
tor the necessities of manhood. The famous Jameson 
portrait, given by Graham of Morphie as a wedding 
gift to the young countess, shows us Montrose in 
those years of meditation, when he was scribbling his 
ambitions on his copy of Quintus Curtius. It is a charm- 
ing head of a boy, with its wide, curious, grey eyes, the 
arched, almost fantastic, eyebrows, the delicate and 



YOUTH. 19 

mobile lips. Life was to crush out the daintiness and 
gaiety, armour was to take the place of lace collar 
and silken doublet ; but one thing the face of Montrose 
never lost — it had always an air of hope, as of one 
seeking for a far country. 

Early in the year 1633 Montrose, having just attained 
his majority, set out on a course of foreign travel. By 
doing so he missed the pageant of the king's coronation 
in Edinburgh, in which he would naturally have played 
a conspicuous part. Probably the reason is to be found 
in the scandal connected with his sister's husband, 
Colquhoun of Luss, which was then the talk of Scot- 
land. The laird, in company with a " necromancer " 
of the name of Carlippis, had fled from his lawful wife, 
carrying with him his sister-in-law, the little Lady 
Katharine, who had been for a time Montrose's com- 
rade in his Glasgow lodgings. The malefactor was 
promptly outlawed, but the unhappy girl disappears 
from history. With such a tragedy in his memory 
Montrose may have welcomed the anodyne of new 
scenes and fresh faces. 

We know little of his journey. He visited France 
and Italy with Basil Fielding — Lord Denbigh's son 
and Hamilton's brother-in-law — who flung in his for- 
tunes later with the Puritan party. In the quaint old 
library at InnerpefFray there is still preserved a French 
Bible which he bought on his travels, scribbled through- 


out with mottoes which had caught his fancy, such as 
'^ Honor mihi vita potior" and ^^ Non crescunt sine 
spinis:' In Rome he met Lord Angus, the future 
Marquis of Douglas, and others of the Scots gentry. 
He studied all the while— "as much of the mathematics 
as is required of a soldier," wrote his faithful adherent, 
Thomas Saintserf, "but his great study was to read 
men and the actions of great men." It is a phrase 
which aptly describes the attitude of high dedication 
in which the young lord passed his youth. He went 
gravely about the business of life, and already had 
made certain of renown, though careless enough about 
happiness. To Cardinal de Retz long afterwards he 
seemed like one of the heroes of Plutarch, and there 
was something even in his boyish outlook of the old 
Roman manner. The descriptions of his person and 
habits at this date are fimiliar : of middle stature, and 
beautifully made ; chestnut hair ; a clear fresh colour ; 
keen grey eyes ; a mighty horseman ; and an adept at 
every sport which needed a lithe body and a cool 
hcad/'^ On his manners all accounts are agreed, and 
most accounts are critical. He was very stately and 
ceremonious, even as a young man : in no way pre- 
pared to forget that he was a great noble, except among 
his intimates. To servants and inferiors he was kindly 
and thoughtful, to equals and superiors a little stiff and 
hard. " He was exceeding constant and loving," a 
friend wrote, "to those who did adhere to him, and 

YOUTH. 2 1 

very affable to such as he knew ; though his carriage, 
which indeed was not ordinary, made him seem proud." 
He knew himself destined for great deeds, and his 
boyish stateliness was his advertisement to the world 
of the part he had set himself to play. 

He returned three years later in his twenty-fourth 
year — a figure of intense interest to the Scottish faction- 
leaders, and of some moment to the king's court. He 
was altogether too remarkable to please the Marquis of 
Hamilton, who was the interpreter of Scottish business 
to the royal ears. When Montrose reached London 
he appeared at court, and naturally asked Hamilton to 
be his sponsor, announcing his wish "to put himself 
into the king's service." Hamilton did his best to 
dissuade him by representing Charles as the foe of 
Scottish rights, and then promptly sought out the 
king to tell him that Montrose, by reason of his royal 
descent, was a danger to the royal interests, and should 
be discouraged. The upshot was that the traveller was 
received by Charles with marked coldness. The king 
spoke a few chilly words, gave him his hand to kiss, and 
turned away. It was enough to discourage the most 
ardent loyalist. But, indeed, Montrose was no senti- 
mental king's man ; he was a loyalist on constitutional not 
on personal grounds. He may have returned to Scotland 
with small affection for his monarch, but it is certain that 
the rebuff played little part in determining that momen- 
tous policy upon which he was now called to enter. 



Before we can understand the course which Montrose 
now followed, it is necessary to look for a moment at 
the storm which was slowly gathering to a head in the 
north. The weakness of the Reformation in Scotland 
was not that it was too drastic, but that it was not nearly 
drastic enough. It was a change of creed, ritual, and 
Church government, but there was no reform in morals 
or in society. It had the weakness of all movements 
engineered by an aristocracy. The Scottish nobles 
from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century were 
probably the most turbulent, rapacious, and independ- 
ent in Europe. Resolute champions of indefensible 
privileges, they resisted all the reforming efforts of 
their kings, and were the death of more than one 
sovereign. They had not even the merit of patriotism, 
for if they were consistently against the common 
people, they were not infrequently against their own 
land, and Scottish history is stored with ugly tales 


of treason. Their prime foes were the King and the 
Church, and they cast longing eyes at the fat abbeys 
and the rich glebes of their clerical rivals. The Refor- 
mation gave them their chance. Two-thirds of the 
Church plunder fell into their hands, and their Protest- 
antism grew with their self-interest. Knox complained, 
not without reason, that in all the Lords of the Con- 
gregation there was not one righteous man. A few 
no doubt were dogmatic enthusiasts, but the majority 
cared as little for the difference between priest and 
minister as for the Ten Commandments. 

James the Sixth, having spent his youth in Scotland, 
was wise enough to leave this hornets' nest alone. The 
new Kirk, though its braver leaders protested, had some 
difficulty in quarrelling with those who had fought 
with it the battle of the Reformation. Moreover, it 
saw in the nobility a bulwark against what it was grow- 
ing to fear — the Episcopalian tendencies of the throne ; 
for the nobles, having overthrown the authority of 
Rome, had no mind to set up Canterbury in its stead. 
The common people, living in dire poverty under harsh 
laws, had little means of making their voice heard. 
While Montrose was growing to manhood, the tithe 
— to take one instance only — had become a crying 
scandal. It had passed from the old Church to the 
feudal lords, who could levy it in kind pretty much 
as they pleased and when they pleased. The tenant 
could not get in his harvest till the lord had taken his 


toll. The bonnet-lairds and the farmers, the labourers 
and the shepherds, even the burghers in the little 
towns, uroaned under a tyranny as harsh as the 
darkest period of the Middle Ages. It was remem- 
bered by elderly folk that the old abbots with the 
same powers had been far more merciful in their deal- 
ings. Had the thing gone on, Scotland might have 
been in danger of a counter-Reformation. 

If one storm centre was the nobles, the other was 
the Kirk. As conceived by its authors, Scottish Pres- 
byterianism was to be a noble democracy, the sanctuary 
of the true Word, and not a museum of pedantries. 
It began its career under the aegis of John Knox, a 
man of alert and masculine genius ; and its spirit 
was admirably suited to his close-reasoning and inde- 
pendent countrymen. Unhappily, like all things built 
of new materials by human hands, it contained the 
elements of strife and decay. Seeking its warrant 
directly from on high, it made of the Bible a manual 
of government, not only for Church but for State. 
While it repudiated Rome, it revived the claims of 
Rome, and imposed a far more merciless discipline. 
"New presbyter," in Milton's phrase, was, "but old 
priest writ large." The Kirk had, indeed, become pos- 
sessed of weapons too terrible for plain men to use 
with safety to themselves or others. It sought to make 
rules for daily life out of the fierce ritual of early 
Israel. It forgot the spirit in the letter and religion 


in its mechanical forms. We need not blame the 
Scottish ministers unduly. Their fashion was the 
fashion of their age. If a man believes that his heart 
is desperately wicked, that he is doomed to eternal 
fires but for the interposition of God's grace, and that 
to walk in grace it is necessary to observe half-under- 
stood precepts from the Scriptures without any attempt 
to rethink them in the light of new conditions — nay, 
that such an attempt is in God's eyes the unpardonable 
sin — it is small wonder if he forge such an instrument 
as the seventeenth-century Scottish Kirk. To him 
tolerance must be only another name for lukewarm- 
ness, and reason only the temptation of the devil. If 
he is right, all those who differ from him must be wrong, 
and it is his duty to enforce his faith with fire and 
sword. Since God orders all things, no part of life 
is beyond the province of His servants, and the Kirk 
must rule not only in general assemblies but in court 
and camp and parliament. And from all this it is only 
a little step to a kind of Jesuitism — the belief that in 
the performance of so great a work a sin or two will 
not be remembered against the worker. Fanaticism 
is curiously apt to forget its original goal, and to run 
for running's sake. 

Scotland was thus in danger of two tyrannies — the 
material domination of the nobles and the more deadly 
spiritual and moral despotism of the Kirk. There was 
no Knox with his clear, far-reaching mind to see the 


perils. He had, indeed, laid the foundation, but it was 
narrower men, such as Andrew Melville, who had raised 
the structure. There was not even a Moray with a 
reasonable share of patriotism and political wisdom. 
The country was in the hands of men neither great 
nor wise — nobles desperately intent on holding what 
they had won, and Churchmen desperately in earnest 
about their spiritual prerogatives. The two sects agreed 
in one thing only — their stubborn conservatism. It 
was a very pretty powder-magazine for the inevitable 

The spark came from the king. Charles took up 
the question of Scottish reform with the sincere inten- 
tion of setting things straight. But the strange fatality 
of his race pursued him, and he mingled in his policy 
what was just and sensible, and what was unjust and 
foolish. He undertook the business of reforming some 
of the feudal tenures, particularly the vexed matter of 
tithes, and in the most modern way he appointed a 
Royal Commission. The result was a genuine reform, 
acceptable alike to the commons and clergy of Scotland. 
It was far from acceptable to the nobles, but their 
mouths were stopped ; they bided their time till their 
chance came. They had not long to wait. Fanaticism 
always produces a counter-fanaticism, and it was the 
dearest wish of the king's heart to make the worship 
of God uniform throughout his dominions. When he 


came to Edinburgh in 1633 ^^ ^^ crowned, he and 
Laud arranged a ceremony which to the onlookers 
seemed very like the ritual of Rome. Next year he 
created a See of Edinburgh, filled the Privy Council 
with bishops, and gave the Chancellorship to a Church- 
man, Archbishop Spottiswoode. A Book of Ecclesi- 
astical Canons was issued under the supervision of the 
Scottish bishops. Last and worst, in the summer of 
1637 came Laud's new Service Book, ordered to be 
read in all churches. It was the true counter-fanaticism. 
Charles gave to his bishops precisely that impossible 
position which the Presbyterian ministers were begin- 
ning to claim for themselves — a position which in the 
long run makes civilized government impossible. It 
was a proposal as repugnant to the reasonable loyalist 
as to the hot-gospeller of the Kirk. " That Churchmen 
have competency," Lord Napier wrote, "is agreeable 
to the law of God and man ; but to invest them into 
great estates and principal offices of the State, is neither 
convenient for the Church, for the King, nor for the 
State . . . Histories witness what troubles have been 
raised to kings, what tragedies amongst subjects, 
in all places where Churchmen were great. Our re- 
formed Churches, having reduced religion to the ancient 
primitive truth and simplicity, ought to beware that 
corruption enter not into their Church in the same 
gate." ^^^ They did not beware. They were only 
too ready to welcome this particular corruption for 


themselves, but they were resolutely determined that 
the Episcopal Church in Scotland should be kept free 
from temptation. 

laud's Service Book was the last straw. The devout 
women of Edinburgh rose in their wrath, and the first 
attempt to read it in St. Giles's Kirk was the signal for 
a riot. The flame ran fast over Scotland, for the 
grievance was indeed intolerable. To endure such inter- 
ference with private rights of worship was to stultify 
the whole Reformation principle. Every post to Eng- 
land carried a supplication or a remonstrance to his 
Majesty, and early in the autumn public meetings 
began to be held. Montrose returned from his travels 
with his head full of academic politics, and his mind 
fired with dreams of military glory, to find his country 
in the throes of a petty and yet vital strife. He could 
not avoid taking sides, and both parties in Scotland 
angled feverishly for his support. To the amazement 
of many he chose for the malcontents, and in November 
1637 appeared publicly on their side. Early in the 
new year a Committee of Sixteen, representing the 
Estates of the Realm, was appointed to deal with the 
present discontents, and Montrose was one of them. 
He appeared to protest against the proclamation of 
the Liturgy, mounted in boyish enthusiasm upon a 
barrel, so that the prophetic Rothes was led to observe : 
*' James, you will never be at rest till you are lifted 
up above the rest in three fathoms of a rope." Mean- 


time Johnston of Wariston and Alexander Henderson 
had drafted a document which they called a Covenant 
— an old device, for when the Scottish nobles chose 
to walk in the paths of rebellion they used to enter 
into "ane band." On the last day of February 1638, in 
Greyfriars' Churchyard in Edinburgh, came the reading 
of the protest with its solemn appeal — " that religion 
and righteousness may flourish in the land, to the glory 
of God, the honour of the king, and the peace and 
comfort of us all." The National Covenant had been 
consummated, and Montrose was sworn among the 

His reasons are not far to seek. No doubt some- 
thing must be set down to personal grounds, for he 
was little more than a boy. He had been unkindly 
received by Charles and snubbed by Hamilton, and 
such treatment may have disposed him to listen to 
Rothes and Loudoun when they respectfully solicited 
his opinion and his help. But, apart from personal 
feelings, there were good grounds for a man of his 
temper approving the principle of the Covenant. He 
could not see that, whatever its professions might be, 
its supporters made it impossible. He could not read 
the factious hearts of Loudoun and Balmerino, and see 
how little they cared for " religion " or "righteousness " 
or the "glory of God." He could not see that the 
Kirk was dreaming at the back of its mind of a tyranny 
which would annihilate all government. He looked 


only at the Covenant ; he had not the experience to 

judge the Covenanters. And on the face of it the 

Covenant was sound policy. It protested against the 

despotic and illegal infliction of the Prayer Book upon 

people who preferred to address their Maker in their 

own words. It protested against the appointment of 

Churchmen to civil offices. Montrose, being a good 

Presbyterian and true to the spirit of that faith, did 

not like the ecclesiastic in politics. In his dying 

declaration he repeated : " Bishops, I care not for them. 

I never intended to advance their interests." All these 

views were held by Napier, his brother-in-law ; but 

Napier did not sign the Covenant, and Montrose did. 

The explanation is that Montrose looked only at the 

document, while Napier, older and wiser, looked at 

the men behind it. He knew that the letter is little 

and the spirit much, and he did not like the spirit. 

Montrose stood for what seemed to be the liberties 

of the Scottish people. When he found that the 

Covenant had become the cause of a selfish oligarchy 

of nobles and a tyrannical Kirk, he was to cast it behind 

him. Like a true statesman, he sought the reality of 

things, not the name. 




The Covenant was an act of rebellion, and its makers 
were aware of the consequences of their deeds. The 
Tables, as the Committee of Sixteen was named, set 
about organizing a provisional government. Its leaders 
subscribed largely to the war chest, and a general tax 
was levied of a dollar for every thousand merks of 
rent. The king, who had at times no mean capacity 
forjudging a situation, estimated the events in Scotland 
more shrewdly than his advisers. He looked forward 
sooner or later to an appeal to force, but he wished to 
gain time till he could make use of it conveniently ; 
so he sent the Marquis of Hamilton as a commissioner 
with power to treat with the malcontents. One thing 
he demanded : the Covenant, the sign - manual of 
rebellion, must be dropped before any concessions 
were made. 

Hamilton set off on a task for which he had little 
liking. A vain, tortuous being, a diligent tramper of 


backstairs, and a master of intrigue, he was probably 
the most futile of the many schemers of his day. 
Scotland he hated, as he told the king, " next to hell ; " 
but visions of the Scottish crown and memories of his 
royal descent were the will-o'-the-wisp to his shallow 
and inconstant brain. He arrived in Edinburgh early 
in June 1638, and found sullen looks and little of 
the welcome due to a Royal Commissioner. The Tables 
appointed a committee of three nobles and three 
ministers to confer with him, and one of the six was 
Montrose. Their demands were simple and reason- 
able. They asked for the withdrawal of the obnoxious 
Liturgy and Book of Canons ; the summoning of a 
free General Assembly ; and, finally, of a Parliament 
to decide the various questions at issue. The Scottish 
Church was to shape its own ecclesiastical policy, and 
a Scottish Parliament was to give such policy the 
validity of the civil law. It was a moderate assertion 
of a justifiable nationalism. 

Hamilton hummed and hawed, promised and with- 
drew, and finally left Edinburgh in despair. But 
before he went he vindicated his character for double- 
dealing. He privately told the Covenanters, as we 
know on Montrose's evidence, that if they took a firm 
stand they were likely to win. Then ensued a war 
of king's proclamations and Covenanting protests. 
Hamilton flitted between London and Edinburgh, 
carrying royal concessions, till all the demands of the 


Covenanters had been met. But the concessions came 
too late. The king proposed a new covenant of his 
own, the chief point of which was the abjuration of 
Popery ; but the Covenanting leaders, whose detesta- 
tion of Popery needed no advertisement, very naturally 
described it as a " mockery of God." Their demands 
were now nothing less than the complete suppression 
of Episcopacy in Scotland. Everywhere except in 
Aberdeen the National Covenant had been enthusiasti- 
cally received. Montrose was sent with a bevy of 
ministers to convert those northern burgesses ; but the 
preaching of Mr. Alexander Henderson, Mr. David 
Dickson, and Mr. Andrew Cant was without effect. His 
future visits to Aberdeen were to be to better purpose. 
On the 2 1 St of November the General Assembly met 
in the old cathedral church of Glasgow. Laymen were 
admitted as members in accordance with the law and 
spirit of Presbyterianism. Hamilton and the ministers 
opposed this admission — the latter with some justice, 
for they saw that laymen meant nobles, and they knew 
well enough the motives of these gentry in their 
interference with Church affairs. The scene must have 
been a curious one. Hamilton sat uneasily on a high 
chair of state, with the Privy Council below him. 
Opposite him sat the Moderator, Henderson, with 
Wariston as his clerk. Then came the Covenanting 
nobles, and then, in a confused mass, the clergy and the 

other lay delegates. Baillie, an extreme Covenanter, 
(1.744) 3 


was so shocked at the pandemonium that he observed 
that his brethren " might learn from Canterbury or the 
Pope, or even from Turks or pagans," for the members 
" made such a din and clamour in the house of the 
true God that if they minded to use the like behaviour 
in his chamber he would not be content till they were 
down the stairs." 

The session was one long and dreary wrangle, during 
which Montrose in his youthful zeal came into conflict 
with the Moderator. Hamilton stood on the king's 
prerogative, and questioned the legality of the whole 
assembly, a foolish move which intensified the bitter- 
ness. He departed after trying to dissolve the house, 
and on his way to the king saw to the garrisoning of 
Edinburgh Castle. The Assembly, left to its own 
devices, deposed all the bishops, some on false charges 
of immorality ; abolished all Charles's Episcopalian 
innovations ; and excommunicated a number of minis- 
ters who had shown leanings to the royal faith. Scot- 
land had made it abundantly clear that in Church 
matters she would have her own way, and that that 
way was not the king's. The issue could only be war. 
The unity of the nation was proved by the accession to 
the Covenant party of the head of the House of Camp- 
bell, who was a shrewd judge of the likely winner in 
every dispute. In a speech of portentous length he 
announced his adherence to the good cause, and he was 
the leader in the summary handling of the episcopate. 


The Assembly closed with thanks to God and to the 
Earl of Argyll. 

Up in the north, Aberdeen stood for the king. 
Charles would soon be marching to the Border, and 
the Council could not go out to meet him with an 
enemy in the rear. Besides, there was always the 
danger that Strafford might land Irishry in the west 
who would join their Gordon co-religionists. Whatever 
the faults of the Tables, they were no sluggards in war. 
The castles of Edinburgh, Dumbarton, and Dalkeith 
were surprised, the Hamilton strongholds in Clydesdale 
were taken, and soon in the south of Scotland only the 
castle of Caerlaverock remained hostile. Aberdeen must 
be reduced, and the command of the army for the 
purpose was given to Montrose. But, to correct the 
inexperience of the young earl, he was given as his 
lieutenant a little, crooked soldier of fortune, Alexander 
Leslie, who had won fame in the wars of Gustavus. 
With Leslie had come over many Scottish mercenaries 
of the Dugald Dalgetty type, who, finding their occupa- 
tion gone on the Continent, welcomed the chance of 
turning an honest penny in their native land. Such 
men cared as little about prayer books and general 
assemblies as they cared for the international quibbles 
of a German princeling, but they were to provide the 
Covenant with what it sorely lacked — a body of experi- 
enced and cool-headed professional soldiers. 


The course of the First Bishops' War was not 
glorious or swift, but it gave Montrose his first lesson 
in that art of which he was to become a consummate 
master. The House of Gordon was the great family of 
north-east Scotland. Till a few years earlier it had been 
Catholic, and, while strong in loyalty to the throne, had 
stubbornly resisted the Reformation. But the Huntly 
of the day had married Argyll's sister, and had com- 
promised on the Episcopalian variety of Protestant- 
ism. The old royalism, however, was maintained, and 
he sent off the Covenant envoys with the word that his 
house had risen with the kings of Scotland and would 
ever stand by them. " If the event be the ruin of my 
sovereign, then shall the rubbish that belongs to it bury 
beneath it all that belongs to mine." He was now 
appointed royal lieutenant in the north, but bidden 
take instructions from Hamilton and engage in no 
fighting without his assent. The result of these im- 
possible orders might have been foreseen. Montrose 
spent the beginning of the year 1639 in beating up 
recruits in his own Braes of Angus, where he had high 
words with Lord Southesk, his father-in-law, who not 
unnaturally asked him for his warrant. Presently he 
summoned the northern Covenanters — chiefly Erasers 
and Forbeses — to meet him at the little town of 
Turriff. Huntly heard of the rendezvous, and, resolved 
to prevent it, marched thither with two thousand of his 
clansmen. But Montrose was to give the first proof 


of his amazing power of annihilating distance. When 
Huntly arrived he found the churchyard garrisoned 
with several hundred muskets, and Montrose and his 
friends ensconced in the church. Huntly could do 
nothing, for he could not fight without Hamilton's 
instructions. He withdrew to Inverurie, and disbanded 
most of his men. 

A few days later Leslie arrived with the rest of the 
Covenant army, and Montrose marched on Aberdeen. 
Ever in love with the spectacular side of things, he 
found a rival colour for the royal scarlet, and decorated 
his men with knots of blue ribbon. It is curious to 
remember that the Covenant received its famous blue 
badge from the man who was to prove its chief oppo- 
nent. The city, deserted by Huntly, had no power of 
resistance, and opened its gates. Montrose, to the 
disgust of his followers, was merciful, and contented 
himself with imposing a fine for recusancy. Then 
he departed for Huntly's castle in the Bog of 

Now follows a curious tale, on which it is hard to 
form an opinion. Huntly and Montrose met in the 
camp at Inverurie, and came to terms. Huntly signed 
a modified version of the Covenant, binding himself 
"to maintain the king's authority, together with the 
liberties both of Church and State, Religion and Laws" 
— probably a version dictated by Montrose himself, 
whose] principles it exactly represented. The Gordons 


would be allowed to sign the Covenant if they pleased, 
and the Catholic members of the clan were to be 
protected so long as they stood by Scottish liberty. 
Then Montrose repaired to Aberdeen, where he was 
joined by certain of the Covenanting nobles. A council 
was held, and the general was severely chidden for his 
leniency to Huntly. Apparently the command in the 
field did not carry any superior powers at the council 
board, for Huntly was promptly bidden to attend 
under a safe conduct. Montrose had promised more 
than he could perform, and the chief of the Gordons 
found himself in a trap. He was told that he must 
accompany the Covenanting lords to Edinburgh, He 
asked if he was to go as a prisoner or as a free man. 
Montrose, according to Spalding, bade him take his 
choice ; and the marquis replied that he would go as 
a volunteer. To Edinburgh they went, and Huntly's 
suspicions proved to be only too well founded. He 
refused to subscribe any other covenant than that 
he had taken, and the Tables promptly sent him and 
his son, Lord Gordon, to Edinburgh Castle. The 
simple explanation seems to be that Montrose was 
overruled ; but, knowing as we do his natural temper, 
it seems strange that he should permit his promise 
to be violated by his colleagues and still retain hi? 
command. One point alone is clear: that Huntly was 
bitterly aggrieved. He never forgave Montrose, though 
his clan v/as to fight by his side. Had the Gordon 


been a difFerent man, or had this unfortunate incident 
never happened, the history of Scotland might have 
been written otherwise. 

These events befell in April. On May Day, Hamilton 
arrived in the Forth with nineteen ships of war and 
five thousand men. He found the approaches to 
Edinburgh strongly fortified, and both shores of the 
Firth in arms. His mother, the terrible old dowager- 
countess, arrived from the west with pistols in her 
holsters and the resolve to shoot her son if he set 
foot on Scottish soil. The king's commissioner proved 
as futile in war as in diplomacy. He contented himself 
with landing his men on the islands of the Firth, and 
writing melancholy letters to his master. 

But up in the north the Gordons had taken matters 
into their own hands. In a one-sided engagement 
called the Trot of Turriff they drove out a small 
Covenanting garrison, and marched on Aberdeen, 
which they occupied on the 15th of May." Meanwhile, 
Huntly's second son, Lord Aboyne, had made his way 
to Charles at Newcastle, and had offered his services 
on the royal side. He was sent back to Hamilton to 
get troops, but Hamilton gave him nothing save a few 
field-pieces and the services of Colonel Gun, who had 
fought in the German wars. The main Covenanting 
army, under Leslie, was already marching to the Border 
accompanied by a cohort of ministers, one of whom, 
Mr. Robert Baillie, described the temper of his brethren 


as*' a sweet, meek, humble, yet strong and vehement 
spirit." Hamilton sent off two of his three regiments 
to the king, and himself remained snugly in the Forth. 

At the first word of the Gordon rising Montrose 
had marched north again with 4,000 men. He 
reached Aberdeen on the 25th of May, to find that 
the city had already fallen to the Earl Marischal on 
or about the 20th. His ministers pressed him to 
make an example of the place, but he declined. The 
next day was Sunday, and while the officers were in 
church the soldiers made short work of every dog that 
had been decked in scorn with the blue ribbon of the 
Covenant. They also came to blows with the fisher- 
folk over sundry essays in salmon - poaching. But 
beyond a fine of ten thousand merks levied by the 
victors, the city suffered little. 

On the 30th of May Montrose marched Into the 
Gordon country and laid siege to Huntly's castle of Gight. 
But two days later he got news which changed his plans. 
He heard that Aboyne with a large force was on the 
sea, and he assumed that Hamilton was with him. 
He must keep his communications open at all costs, 
so after a day's rest in Aberdeen he hastened south. 
On the 5th of June Aboyne arrived with his field- 
pieces. Gun, and a few young adventurers of his own 
class. His brother, Lord Lewis, who had attained the 
mature age of thirteen, rode into the city with a 
thousand of the clan, and so aroused the spirit of the 


burghers that by the 14th of June Aboyne had 4,000 
men at his back. 

Montrose had met the Earl Marischal/^^ the head of 
the house of Keith, at Stonehaven, and when news 
came of Aboyne's landing he went north to meet him. 
Aboyne's following showed the inclination, common to 
Highland levies, to melt mysteriously away ; but he had 
six hundred Gordon cavalry, and he had the citizen 
forces of the twice-captured Aberdeen, who could ex- 
pect little in the way of mercy if the war went against 
them. He had a strong position, for the Dee was in 
flood, and the narrow bridge might be held by resolute 
men against great odds. Had all his officers been of 
the stamp of Colonel Johnston, the provost's son, it 
would have gone ill with Montrose. The muskets at 
the bridge-head bit fiercely into the Covenant ranks, 
the spirit of the townspeople rose high, and the first 
day's fighting left their defences intact. But in the 
night Montrose brought up his heavier cannon and 
sent his horse up the river to find a ford. Gun induced 
the Gordons to move upstream also, and as soon as 
they had gone the Covenanters made a general attack. 
Gun, having made nothing of his ride, fell into a panic 
which communicated itself to the rest. The Gordons 
fled with the unwilling Aboyne to their own country, 
and the citizens, deprived of their allies, broke at last. 

Marischal, with the cordial assent of the ministers, 
would have burned and pillaged the city, but Montrose 


pled for a respite. Luckily for Aberdeen, events had 
taken place in the south which made the truce a peace. 
On the I 8 th of June there had been signed the Pacifica- 
tion of Berwick, the most hollow treaty ever made. 
Under it both armies were to be disbanded. Montrose 
imposed another fine upon Aberdeen, released his 
prisoners, and dismissed his men to their homes ; and 
a few days later set out himself for the south. He 
had won his first battle, and proved conclusively his 
gift for war ; but as he journeyed Edinburgh-wards he 
can have had little of the joy of victory in his heart. He 
was no professional soldier like Leslie, but a perplexed 
and patriotic statesman, and he saw small hope for the 
future of that loyalty and that liberty which were the 
twin principles of his life. 




We leave Montrose on his way south to glance at 
that other Scottish noble whose name was now on 
the lips of everybody. The Earl of Argyll was some 
thirty-four or thirty-five years of age, a lean, narrow- 
chested man, more noted in debate than in war. 
Close-set, squinting eyes, a thin, drooping nose, and 
a sinister mouth were the outward characteristics of 
this new "Archibald the Grim." The head of the 
great House of Campbell, he had the widest possessions 
and largest revenues of any Highland chief, save Huntly, 
and at his back stood a powerful and well-organized clan. 
Till the Glasgow Assembly of 1638 he had played 
little part in public life. But he was widely known 
as assiduous, wily, and infinitely patient. Hamilton, 
no bad judge of intriguers, told Charles that he was 
the most dangerous man in Scotland. Another opin- 
ion is that of the old Argyll, his father, who having 
turned Catholic in his dotage was compelled by the 


king to make over his estates to his son and leave 
the country. " Sir," he wrote to Charles, " I must 
know this young man better than you can do. You may 
raise him, which I doubt you will live to repent, for 
he is a man of craft, subtlety, and falsehood, and can 
love no man, and if ever he finds it in his power to 
do you a mischief, he will be sure to do it."^*^ Of his 
ability there can be no question. Mr. Gardiner thinks 
him as much superior to Montrose in statesmanship 
as he was inferior in the art of war ; and Clarendon, 
who detested him, said that Argyll wanted only 
courage and honesty to be a very great man. Mon- 
trose despised him, but then Montrose was apt to 
despise those whom he did not love. 

In every national crisis there is some personal an- 
tagonism, where the warring creeds seem to be summed 
up in the persons of two protagonists. Caesar and 
Pompey, Pym and Strafford, Fox and Pitt, are familiar 
instances. So stood Montrose and Argyll, secular 
types of conflicting temperaments and irreconcilable 
aims. Argyll must always remain one of the mysteries 
of history. We can see the man and his doings, but 
we cannot see the dream at the back of that patient 
head. He had a grim piety of the ascetic kind, but 
the mainspring of his actions was not piety. Nor 
was it a political ideal, for he had no theory of state- 
craft worth the name. He was the eternal fisher in 
troubled waters, the creature of a mediasval twilight. 


He had the chiefs inordinate love of power, and 
visions of a crown may have haunted one who boasted 
that he was the "eighth man from Robert Bruce." 
But above all he loved the exercise of his admirable 
brain, using the raw material of fanaticism in the 
ministers and of gross self-interest in the nobles to 
serve his own most unfanatical ends. 

Physically he was a coward, though like many 
cowards he plucked up courage to make a good ending. 
This shrinking made him a poor general, and pre- 
disposed him to win his purpose by peaceful means. 
But, though pacifically inclined, he had no gentleness 
or humanity, and many of the barbarities of the 
Covenant must be laid to his account. He had no 
enthusiasm, though he could use its catchwords, and 
few principles which were not priced. This freedom 
from the common foibles of mankind made him a 
terrible antagonist, but it left one chink in his armour. 
He could not realize a motive other than fanaticism 
or self-interest, and in failing to understand, he 
undervalued and miscalculated. Small wonder that 
he did not love Montrose, who represented something 
beyond his ken. Single-heartedness did not come 
within the scope of his capacious understanding. He 
was puzzled, and, being puzzled, he was compelled 
to hate one who had no personal ambition in the 
common sense, who was a civic enthusiast as Wariston 
and Guthrie were religious enthusiasts, and who, as 


he knew well, would sooner or later force the appeal 
to that which Argyll hated above all things — the sword. 

The next four years of Montrose's life are a tale 
of a slow disillusionment, the gradual ripening of the 
antagonism with Argyll, and repeated bouts with his 
opponent in that field of parliaments, assemblies, and 
subterranean intrigues in which the chief of the Camp- 
bells was most at home. At the date of the Treaty 
of Berwick, Montrose, though looked askance at by 
some of the extremists for his clemency in the nor- 
thern campaign, was still a trusted leader of the 
Covenanters. But events were soon to shake him 
in their estimation. Before the year was out the 
King and the Covenant were at loggerheads again. 
Charles, blundering by the letter of the agreement, 
broke in the opinion of the Covenanters its spirit, 
and the Scottish army was not disbanded. Traquair, 
the royal treasurer, was mobbed in the Edinburgh 
streets, and when Charles summoned the Covenanting 
leaders to Berwick to explain the proceedings, most 
of them ignored the command. Among the few who 
obeyed was Montrose, and the interview with the 
king marked, probably, an epoch in his life. He fell 
for the first time under the spell of Charles's person- 
ality. He heard for the first time the case of the 
king. He seems to have been convinced for the 
first time of the royal bona fides^ convinced that Charles, 


for all his earlier follies, would not go back from the 
path of constitutional monarchy to which he now 
stood pledged. Montrose was never one to disguise 
his thoughts, and the paper with the words " Invictus 
armis verbis vincitur,'' presently found pinned to his 
door, showed the view of his new attitude held by 
the inner circle of the Covenant. 

On his return to Scotland he was persuaded of 
another fact, the unconstitutional ambitions of the 
Earl of Argyll. The new Assembly sat in August, 
and made short work of Scottish Episcopacy. On 
the last day of that month the new Parliament met 
to ratify their decision, and an important question 
at once arose as to the gap left by the bishops. With 
them one of the estates of the realm had disappeared, 
and the Lords of the Articles — the committee which 
provisionally licensed all Bills before their presentation 
to Parliament — were sadly depleted. The problem 
was how to fill up the vacancies. Charles would have 
had ministers take the bishops' place, but the jealousy 
of nobles and clergy alike made this solution impos- 
sible. Montrose proposed the nomination by the king 
of a number of laymen — an odd suggestion for one 
of his views. Perhaps he hoped to secure as royal 
nominees some of the wiser and more moderate nobles, 
such as Napier, who had little interest in party intrigues. 
Argyll's scheme, which was carried by one vote, al- 
lowed each estate to elect its own lords — eight from 


the nobles, sixteen from the lairds and the burghers. 
It was probably the best expedient, and it had the 
advantage, from the point of view of its author, that 
it gave his unique talents for intrigue a fair field. 
He was what we should call to-day a brilliant elec- 
tioneer, and he could exercise this gift more profitably 
among the Covenanting middle classes than among 
his jealous and unruly peers. The reform, whatever 
its grounds, abolished the royal influence in the Scot- 
tish Parliament, and substituted for it the mastery of 

The next stage in Argyll's advance revealed the 
hand less of a master of statecraft than of a feudal 
baron with grievances to avenge. The Parliament 
which met in the following summer (June 1640) set 
up a general committee of public safety with powers 
over the army. Montrose was one of its members, 
and went north to raise men for the force which Leslie 
a second time was to lead across the Border. He had 
to effect the reduction of various Royalist fortresses, 
among others that of Airlie, the seat of the Ogilvys. 
The castle was peaceably surrendered and a small 
garrison left behind. But Argyll had also gone north 
on the same errand, though in a very different spirit. 
He had old scores to pay off, for Campbells and 
Ogilvys had been long at feud. The burning of the 
"bonny house of Airlie" is too well known from the 
ballad to need retelling. He turned Lord Ogilvy's 


young wife out of doors in wild weather on the eve 
of her confinement. Hastening into Badenoch and 
Lochaber he wreaked his ill-will on those ancient 
foes of his clan, the Macdonalds, and he trapped 
Atholl by a subterfuge and sent him prisoner to 
Edinburgh. Returning in triumph the hero obtained 
from Parliament an indemnity for his deeds — " for any 
violence whatsoever done to the liberty of the subject, 
or freedom taken with their property, houses, or 
castles, for burning the same or putting fire thereinto, 
or otherwise destroying the same howsoever, or by 
putting whatsomever person or persons to torture or 
question, or of putting any person or persons to death " 
— a fairly comprehensive catalogue which sheds some 
light upon his campaign. He had also the audacity 
to charge Montrose with treason for dealing too 
leniently with rebels, a charge which honest old Leslie 
would have none of. Montrose went southward with 
the army, and was the fiirst to lead his division across 
the Tweed at Coldstream to English soil. 

Meantime he had had news which showed him 
something of Argyll's heart. He was privately ap- 
proached with a suggestion to depose the king, and 
to place the government of Scotland in the hands of 
three dictators, two of whom were ciphers and the 
third Argyll. The scheme must have revealed to 
him how far the Covenant had strayed from its original 

intention to do nothing "to the diminution of the 
(1,744) 4 


king's greatness and authority." Such a plot would 
set an end forever to all his hopes of a constitutional 
monarch, a popular government, and a free and loyal 
Presbyterian Church. He was convinced that many 
in Scotland had no desire to depose a Stuart and set 
up a Campbell, and he resolved to appeal to the 
moderate Covenanters. During the year 1640 
some of them met at Cumbernauld, the house of 
Montrose's uncle, Lord Wigton, and signed a bond. 
It protested against the "particular and indirect prac- 
tising of a few," and bound the signatories to uphold 
the letter and spirit of the National Covenant " to the 
hazard of our lives, fortunes, and estates." It was 
signed among others by Marischal, Atholl, Boyd, Mar, 
Perth, Erskine, and Almond. In November Boyd 
fell ill, and in the delirium before his death revealed 
something of his doings. Word was carried to Argyll, 
who denounced the bond to his colleagues of the 
Council. Montrose was summoned to Edinburgh to 
answer to the Estates on a charge of treason, frankly 
avowed the whole business, and defended it as an 
honest statement of the constitutional policy for which 
the Covenant had been originally framed. It was idle 
for the ministers to describe as a " damnable bond "'^' 
what was obviously no more than their own declared 
intentions, and Argyll regretfully had to let the matter 
drop. It was enough for the present by hints and 
rumours to spread abroad the impression that the late 


Covenanting general was a traitor to the cause of true 

A man of active temper and complete honesty, if he 
cannot see his way plain, is apt to make a sorry 
business of waiting. Perplexities thickened about the 
path of the undecided Montrose. He saw clearly the 
necessity of asserting the royal power if Scotland was 
to be saved from anarchy, and he saw no less clearly 
the direction of Argyll's thoughts ; but he still be- 
lieved that the Covenanters as a whole were willing to 
listen to moderate counsels, and that if he bided his 
time he might yet lead his countrymen into reasonable 
ways. He had seen the fiasco at Newburn and the ready 
capitulation of Newcastle ; now, he may have argued, 
Scotland has sufficiently asserted her rights as against 
the king, and the time is ripe for insisting that the 
royal rights in turn shall be safeguarded. He did 
not realize how closely the interests of the Covenant 
were linked with Pym and his followers in the English 
Parliament, whose maxim it was rapidly becoming that 
" the king could do no right." Meantime he was 
zealous in discussing public affairs and winning ad- 
herents for his views, and presently he gave Argyll 
his chance. This is not the place to discuss at length 
the details of what is called the " Plot " — details which 
are still for the most part obscure. Montrose, his 
brother-in-law Napier, their nephew Sir George Stir- 
ling of Keir, and Keir's brother-in-law. Sir Archibald 


Stewart of Blackball, used to meet and discuss public 
affairs, and the upshot of their deliberations was that 
the kincT must come to Scotland and meet Parliament. 
They resolved to communicate their views to Charles, 
and for the purpose selected a certain Walter Stewart, 
of the Traquair family, who happened to be journey- 
ing to London. A little later Montrose went to Scone 
to visit Lord Stormont, and there met Atholl, smarting 
under recent indignities, and John Stewart of Lady- 
well, the Commissary of Dunkeld. Some Covenanting 
ministers came to the house, among them the 
minister of his own parish of Auchterarder, and most 
unwisely Montrose unburdened himself in their pres- 
ence on public discontents, and especially on the 
intentions of Argyll. Argyll, he said, had often spoken 
against the king, and even now was plotting a dic- 
tatorship. Argyll heard of these speeches and brought 
the matter before the committee. Montrose avowed 
responsibility and named his evidence. His witnesses, 
he said, were Lord Lindsay of the Byres, Stewart of 
Ladywell, Cassilis, and Mar. The witnesses were sum- 
moned, and proved unsatisfactory. Lindsay remembered 
the conversation, but said he had not named Argyll. 
Ladywell at first stuck to his words, and then in a 
sudden fit of fear repudiated them. He was convicted 
under an old Scottish statute of leasing-making^^^ and put 
to death. But the committee had made a better cap- 
ture, no less than that Walter Stewart who had carried to 


the king the letter of Montrose and his friends. Stewart 
produced the letter, which in its tone was irreproachable ; 
but he also produced papers written in a strange jargon, 
which was probably the product of his own half-witted 
fancy, but which to the committee had an ugly look 
of a secret cipher. Montrose and his three friends 
were arrested and lodged in Edinburgh Castle. 

The chief prisoner refused to answer any questions 
before the committee, and demanded a public trial. 
His houses were broken into and his private papers 
examined, but nothing could be found more dangerous 
to the peace of the realm than some boyish love- 
letters. He was brought before the bar of Parliament, 
but his accusers could adduce no proof of guilt or 
extract any damning admission. The summer passed, 
and the king arrived in Edinburgh on August 14, 1641. 
On the surface his reception was magnificent. He 
went to church, discoursed courteously with the minis- 
ters, and was seen in public with old Leslie, who had 
lately led an army against him. But presently Argyll 
tightened his grip. Acts were passed, making the 
king's choice of ministers dependent upon the will 
of Parliament — a piece of modern constitutionalism, 
admirable in itself, which, lacking the machinery and 
safeguards of modern government, was simply to set a 
premium upon sectarian tyranny — and it was added 
that no one who had taken the king's side should be 
eligible for office. Well might Perth exclaim, " If 


this be what you call liberty, God give me the old 
slavery again ! " There were others in Scotland besides 
Montrose who saw the drift of these measures, and 
among one class of the nobles Argyll and his two 
jackals, Hamilton and Lanark, became the objects of 
hostile demonstrations. Montrose wrote twice from 
his prison praying for an interview with the king, 
and the third time he put his cards on the table and 
offered to prove that Argyll and Hamilton were traitors 
to the commonwealth. Charles, himself beginning to 
be of the same opinion, laid the letter before his 
chancellor and others of the nobles, and asked their 

Now comes the curious performance known in his- 
tory as the " Incident." On the evening of the i ith of 
October, so ran the gossip in the Edinburgh streets, 
Argyll, Hamilton, and Lanark were warned that their 
lives were in danger, and early next morning fled 
from the city. We shall never know the truth of the 
business. No doubt there were nobles, such as Ker and 
Crawford, with bands of retainers at their heels, who 
would gladly have taken the old Scots way of settling 
matters with their enemies. There were others, such as 
Carnwath, who made no secret of their view that there 
were now three kings of Scotland, and that two of them 
could be dispensed with. Parliament held an inquiry, 
but few facts emerged, for it was not conducted with 
much seriousness. The likeliest explanation is that 


Argyll and his friends took this way of escaping from 
the awkward corner in which Montrose's third letter 
had placed them. Argyll was a master of electioneer- 
ing tricks ; he knew that the suspicion of being in peril 
is a supreme asset to a leader. He returned to Edin- 
burgh to be made a marquis, and to dictate the 
recipients of the great offices of state. Montrose and 
his friends were released a few weeks later on proba- 
tion, after the king had bound himself not to employ 
them again or suffer them to approach his presence. 
The case against them was finally closed on March i6, 
1642, and the four gentlemen, who had lain five 
months in prison without trial, or indeed without any 
specific charge, were informed that they owed their 
happy escape only to Argyll's clemency. The new 
marquis could afford to be generous to an antagonist 
whom in a game of plots and counterplots he had so 
signally outplayed. 


(1642- 1 644.) 

Sometime during these years Montrose set down his 
views on government, and the paper still survives in 
the Advocates' Library, and is printed by Mark Napier 
in his "Memoirs of Montrose." It is in the form of a 
letter to a "Noble Sir," who may or may not have been 
Drummond of Hawthornden, but in its essence it is 
one of those confessions of faith by which sorely per- 
plexed men have at all times striven to ease their souls. 
It may be questioned if the seventeenth century 
produced a more searching political treatise. It reveals, 
indeed, a capacity for abstract thought rare in all ages 
in a man of action, but especially rare in that turbid 
era when men fought for half-truths and died for 
fictions. He begins by laying down, almost in the 
words of the nineteenth-century John Austin, the true 
doctrine of " Sovereign Power." He had none of the 
contemporary faith in Divine Right, he had no brief 
even for the monarchy ; he saw that sovereignty must 
ultimately reside in a free people, but might be 


delegated to a king, a council of nobles, or a parlia- 
ment as was found most convenient. In the case of a 
monarchy this delegated sovereign power is limited by- 
three other authorities — the law of God, the law of 
nature, and the law of the land ; ^^^ an advanced doctrine 
for Scotland in the year 1640. But no other limitation 
is possible. No section of the people can seize a 
part of sovereignty ; for if sovereignty be divided, 
then follows anarchy, the oppression by subjects, which, 
as he says, is " the most fierce, insatiable, and un- 
supportable tyranny in the world." He desires free 
and frequent parliaments and stern measures with 
any law-breaking king ; but he insists that when 
sovereignty has been granted on conditions, it must 
be inviolable so long as these conditions are observed. 
Then he goes on ; he is speaking to the commons 
of Scotland, — 

" Do you not know, when a monarchical government is shaken, 
the great ones strive for the garland with your blood and your 
fortunes? Whereby you gain nothing . . . but shall purchase 
to yourselves vultures and tigers to reign over your posterity, 
and yourselves shall endure all those miseries, massacres, and 
proscriptions of the Triumvirate of Rome — till the kingdom fall 
again into the hands of One." 

It is the old profound lesson of history, always 
taught and always forgotten. After anarchy comes the 
tyrant. The successors of the Gracchi are the Caesars ; 
the blood and fury of the French Revolution are 


stamped out by Napoleon. Even in England at that 
moment the " One " of whom Montrose prophesied was 
walking about in his sober country clothes and great 
buff boots, the man who was soon to clear out parlia- 
ments, and rule by force in an absolutism of which 
no Tudor ever dreamed. 

To the holder of such views the way was becom- 
ing plain. To a man so far-sighted, so modern in 
his conception of the State, it was growing clear that 
the Covenant and its allies were in a fair way to 
restore the Middle Ages. Argyll and the ministers 
between them would have established a theocracy on 
a feudal basis, an omnipotent Kirk and a free licence 
to the worst aristocracy with which any country has 
been cursed, provided that aristocracy remained ortho- 
dox. Toleration was as remote from them as practical 
wisdom. They adopted a mediaeval creed of religious 
uniformity, and would have compelled it at the point 
of the sword. In 1640, after the fall of Newcastle, 
they demanded the abolition of Episcopacy in England, 
and the establishment of Presbyterianism against the 
will of at least three-fourths of the inhabitants. " In 
the Paradise of Nature," so ran the request, "the 
diversity of flowers and herbs is useful, but in the 
Paradise of the Church different and contrary religions 
are unpleasant and hurtful : it is therefore to be 
wished that there were one Confession of Faith, one 
form of Catechism, one Directory, for the parts and 


public worship of God, as prayer, etc. ; and one form 
of Church government in all the churches of his 
Majesty's dominions." This was the view of Laud, 
though he favoured a different form from the Scots. 
Later they were to make the same demand in more 
ecstatic words, promising that the issue would be " the 
voice of harpers harping with their harps, which shall 
fill the whole island with melody and mirth." Between 
such a temper and Montrose's practical statesmanship 
there must be war to the death. 

What of the people of Scotland ? " Quicquid delirant 
reges^ plectuntur Achivi.'" Their condition had never 
been more wretched. The land was impoverished by 
petty wars and miserably and corruptly governed. 
Throughout all Montrose's writings and speeches there 
rings a note of pity for the common folk, who had 
to bear the brunt of their rulers' folly. " Ye have 
oppressed the poor, and violently perverted judgment 
and justice," — so ran his last tremendous indictment. 
Nor was there any revival of true spiritual life, such 
as has at other times attended a season of religious 
wars.^5^ The hungry sheep were fed with windy politics. 
Let us take one witness, the famous Mr. Robert Law, 
author of Law's Memorials, a stout Covenanter who 
was ejected from his church in 1662. " From the year 
1 652-1 660," he writes, and his words are notable, 
"there was great good done by the preaching of the 
Gospel in the west of Scotland, more than was ob- 


served to have been for twenty or thirty years 
before ; a great many brought into Christ Jesus by a 
saving work of conversion, which was occasioned by 
ministers preaching nothing through all that time but 
the Gospel, and had left off to preach up Parliaments, 
Armies, Leagues, Resolutions, and Remonstrances."^'"^ 
The use of the Lord's Prayer was condemned by 
some zealots as being too much of a " set form." 
Private meetings for devotion were discouraged as 
savouring of Brownism — a strange policy for a Church 
which owned Livingstone and Samuel Rutherford. 
Religion, in a word, had ceased to be a quickening 
spirit, and become a hortus siccus of withered pedan- 
tries. Of the Kirk, now dominant in Scotland, Cromwell 
after Dunbar had certain truths to proclaim. "By 
your hard and subtle words," he told the ministers, 
"you have begotten prejudice in those who do too 
much in matters of conscience — wherein every soul 
has to answer for itself to God — depend upon you. 
Your own guilt is too much for you to bear. . . . 
Is it therefore infallibly agreeable to the word of God, 
all that you say ? 1 beseech you in the bowels of 
Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken. 
There may be a Covenant made with Death and 

Montrose had a season of leisure before the storm 
burst. This, the last taste he was to have of peace 


with his wife and children, he spent probably in his 
house of Kincardine. Thither came a pleasant company 
of neighbours and kinsfolk, Napiers, Erskines, and 
Stirlings, and in the old halls by the Ruthven water 
children's play and the gossip of young voices varied 
the grave talk about the future of the land. In these 
months he may have written the lyric by which his 
name is best known in our literature. It is no song 
to the eyebrow of a mortal Sylvia, but one in which 
the ardour of the patriot is joined to the passion of 
the lover in singing of his mistress, Scotland, and what 
he will do for her if she trusts him. It breathes the 
same spirit as his "Discourse on Sovereignty," a hatred 
of sectarian war, a plea for that unity which had long 
fled from his distracted land. These verses are the 
confession of a soul which thought no risk too high 
for a noble end. 

" My dear and only love, I pray 

That little world of thee 
Be governed by no other sway 

Than purest monarchy ; 
For if confusion have a part 

(Which virtuous souls abhor), 
And hold a synod in thine heart, 

I'll never love thee more. 

" Like Alexander I will reign, 
And I will reign alone ; 
' My thoughts did evermore disdain 

A rival on my throne. 


He either fears his fate too much, 

Or his deserts are small, 
That dares not put it to the touch, 

To win or lose it all. 

*' And in the empire of thine heart, 

Where I should solely be, 
If others do pretend a part 

Or dare to vie with me, 
Or if Committees thou erect, 

And go on such a score, 
I'll laugh and sing at thy neglect, 

And never love thee more. 

" But if thou wilt prove faithful then, 

And constant of thy word, 
I'll make thee glorious by my pen, 

And famous by my sword ; 
I'll serve thee in such noble ways 

Was never heard before ; 
I'll crown and deck thee all with bays, 

And love thee more and more."(") 

He was soon to be called to this test of manhood. 
Sir John Hotham had shut the gates of Hull in the 
king's face, and the English rebellion was begun. 
The General Assembly which sat in Edinburgh in July 
made it clear that the Covenant would side with Pym 
in the quarrel. On the 22nd of August, Charles raised 
the royal standard at Nottingham, and on the 23rd 
of October was fought the battle of Edgehill. 
Montrose set out for England to warn the king that 
the Scottish army, so far from being his bulwark as 


Hamilton had promised, was certain to join forces with 
his enemies. When he reached Newcastle he heard that 
the queen was in Yorkshire, and hastened to Bridling- 
ton Bay to inform that distracted lady, who had just 
been fired on by the Parliament fleet, of the graver 
menace in the north. He urged the immediate need 
of a royal warrant to authorize a Scottish loyalist 
rising. But the queen would not listen, Hamilton 
was still too powerful at court, and Montrose returned 
home with the reputation of an alarmist. 

He did not wait long for his vindication. Under 
Charles's grant of triennial parliaments the next fell 
due in June 1664; but Argyll had business on hand 
and desired one a year earlier. Charles declined, so 
Argyll called a Convention of Estates on his own 
authority. Here was an act of rebellion, more final 
than that of Sir John Hotham's. Hamilton attended 
to watch, as he said, the royal interests, but Montrose 
and his friends stayed away. Instead they held a 
meeting of their own in the north, which was attended 
by loyalist nobles like Huntly, Marischal, and Ogiivy. 
Argyll took alarm, and the capture of Antrim in 
Ireland with a budget of letters from Aboyne and 
Nithsdale gave him the chance to raise the cry of a 
Popish invasion. Scotland v/as to be overrun by 
Irish kerns, and the " true Protestant faith " was in 
danger. Commissioners from London had arrived, 
among them the younger Vane, to ask on behalf of 


the Parliament for ii,ooo Scots. The troops were 
readily granted, Lanark using the royal seal for a 
warrant which levied war against its owner, and a new 
Covenant was devised by Vane and Henderson to 
bind still closer the Scottish and English Parliaments. 
This bond, the Solemn League and Covenant, was 
accepted by the Estates and ratified at Westminster 
by what was left of the English House, being 
thereafter solemnly subscribed in St. Margaret's 
Church on September 25, 1643. The old National 
Covenant had been drawn up by earnest men in 
defence of rational liberties ; the new Covenant was 
a pact to destroy the Church of England, and force 
Presbytery down the throat of every man and woman 
in Britain. It was signed by English Parliamentarians 
because it was the price of the sorely needed Scottish 
help. It was extensively signed in Scotland, because 
the Covenanters saw to it that those who did not 
sign should suffer in person and estate. 

War was inevitable, and Argyll never showed his 
astuteness more than in his last bid for Montrose's 
support. If others were blind to the powers of this 
young man of thirty, the dictator of Scotland knew 
capacity when he saw it. He knew that Montrose 
had been snubbed by the queen, and he hoped to 
catch him on the rebound. It was a mistake natural 
in one who recognized no loyalty but self-interest. 
Lord Leven, as Leslie had now become, had an army 


ready to march, and Montrose was offered the position of 
second in command. The offer was not at once refused, 
but it was hinted that certain scruples stood in the 
way. To solve them the Moderator of the Kirk, 
Alexander Henderson, was dispatched to interview 
the doubter. Henderson, one of the inspirers of the 
National Covenant, was a man of singular upright- 
ness and purity of soul, but he held the impossible 
creed of Presbyterian domination as a law divinely 
established, and, as Clarendon said, he meddled more 
in temporal affairs than all the bishops together. 
Sometime during June 1643 ^^ "^^^ Montrose on 
the banks of the Forth near Stirling. It was a 
curious meeting, the embarrassed Sir James Rollo,^'^^ 
Montrose's brother-in-law, acting as Henderson's 
second, and Napier, Keir, and Ogilvy being present as 
witnesses. The Moderator, taking Argyll's view of 
human nature, assumed that he was talking to a man 
only too anxious to be convinced, and frankly avowed 
that the Covenanters were about to send an army to 
England in support of the Parliament. He offered on 
behalf of the Estates to pay Montrose's debts, mainly 
incurred in legal expenses ; and to give him any 
terms he asked for. Montrose replied that he could 
not come to an immediate decision, asked for time, 
and took a friendly leave of the strange embassy. 

It was all that was needed to clinch his resolution. 
Now he knew that in truth he could look for no 

(1,744) g 


support from his old allies. The Covenant, as he read 
it, had chosen the path of rebellion and anarchy, and 
out of the anarchy must come in the long run Argyll's 
dictatorship, and the pitiless tyranny of Kirk and nobles. 
The one safety lay in Charles. He sent a report of 
the interview to the queen at Oxford and the king at 
Gloucester, and then set out himself for the south. 
With him went other of the loyalists, Crawford, 
Ogilvy, Kinnoul,^^^^ Nithsdale, and Aboyne. Against 
such a testimony Hamilton's smooth words could not 
stand. Presently Hamilton himself confessed the truth : 
Leven was about to cross the Border, and the Covenant 
had cast in its lot with Pym. He and Lanark came to 
Oxford to brazen it out, but Charles's eyes were open. 
Hamilton was arrested and sent a prisoner to Pendennis 
Castle in Cornwall, and his brother escaped, first to 
London and then to the Covenant army. At long last 
the king turned to the only man who could offer him 
any hope. 

For six months Montrose stayed with the court 
at Oxford and prepared his plans. They seemed a 
desperate remedy. The only project he could offer 
was to "raise Scotland for the king," but it seemed 
as if Scotland had effectively risen for the king's 
opponents. Leven was over the Border, and the 
whole line of the Marches was commanded by the 
Covenant. They held every city and town in Scotland ; 
Parliament and General Assembly alike were their 


creatures ; the revenue of the country was in their 
hands ; the great part of the nobles had joined their 
standard. A year ago there had been a chance ; now 
it seemed the wildest of wild ventures. If the Scottish 
people were tired of their taskmasters, they had given 
no sign of it, and the supposed loyalists, with a few 
shining exceptions, had proved broken reeds at the best. 
But in the small inner circle of the royal councils, 
among men like Endymion Porter and Hyde and 
Digby, the grave purpose of the young Scottish earl 
com.manded respect. They had the wit to recognize 
that a certain kind of spirit may win against all odds. 
In any case, it was no season for prudence. " I will 
not," said Montrose, " distrust God's assistance in a 
righteous cause, and if it shall please your Majesty to 
lay your commands upon me for this purpose, your 
affairs will at any rate be in no worse case than they 
are at present, even if I should not succeed." 

He asked for little help. Antrim was to raise troops 
in Ireland and land in the west of Scotland to keep 
Argyll occupied in his own country. A body of horse 
from Newcastle's army would assist him to cut his 
way through the Lowlands to the Highland line. 
The King of Denmark might lend some German 
cavalry, and by hook or by crook a sufficient store 
of arms and ammunition must be transported to the 
north. Charles consented, and Antrim was dis- 
patched to Ulster with instructions to land 2,000 


troops in Argyll by April i, 1644. Montrose was 
offered the commission of viceroy and captain-general 
of the royal forces in Scotland, but very wisely he 
declined ; the title was bestowed on the king's nephew. 
Prince Maurice, and Montrose was content to be 
known as his lieutenant-general. He knew some- 
thing of the jealous temper of the northern peers, 
and he had no desire to wreck his expedition on an 
empty name. 

The six years of waiting were ended. The fates 
had cleared the stage, and the waverer had an issue 
of his perplexity. Words were to give place to deeds, 
the narrow streets of Edinburgh and the heavy air 
of conventions and assemblies to the clean winds and 
wide spaces of the hills. He had before him a straight 
path of duty, and little it troubled him that it ran 
into dark shadows. Once more he had recaptured his 
boyish ardour, and there was no happier man in the 
world than Montrose when on that March morning, 
with the ash-buds black in Magdalen gardens, he 
rode north out of Oxford to win a kingdom. 



(March 1644-August 1644.) 

St. Theresa, when she set out as a child to convert 
the Moors, was engaged in an adventure scarcely less 
hopeful than that which Montrose had now set himself. 
It seemed the wildest of gambles against impossible 
odds. He was to " raise Scotland for the king," 
but where was he to find an army ? The best of 
the semi-professional levies were with Leven in the 
north of England. The soldiers of fortune from 
the German wars were few, and were already mostly 
under Leven's banner. He could get nothing from 
the towns and villages of the Lowlands, for, whatever 
the feeling of the people, the Kirk and the Estates 
had a firm control of the machinery of enlistment. 
There were the nobles and gentry, of course ; but most 
of the former, certainly the most powerful, were 
Covenanters, and, even if it had been otherwise, were 
far too jealous and self-centred to follow one of no 
higher rank than their own in a cause which at the 


best was forlorn. Did he hope that his words of 
wisdom, his far-seeing political doctrines, would carry- 
conviction to a backward peasantry, harassed by tem- 
poral want on the one side, and the fear of eternal 
damnation on the other ? Besides, was he not plan- 
ning to bring Antrim's Irishry to his aid ? and Antrim's 
Irishry, though most of them were Scots, seemed 
to the Lowlanders so many emissaries of the Pope 
and the devil ! With such allies he would not attach 
a single doubting Presbyterian to his standard. 

The truth seems to be that, as in most great adven- 
tures, there was no solid hope save in the soul of 
the adventurer. In a desperate case the man who risks 
most is probably the wisest, and Montrose staked 
everything on the speed and gallantry of his spirit. 
It seems impossible that he can at this time have 
intended to raise the Highlands. He relied on his 
kinsmen and friends in Perth and Angus, and he 
had some hope of the Gordons. It was the gentry 
of the northern Lowlands in whom he trusted — if 
he trusted in any one besides himself — and not in 
the clans of the hills. Probably at the time he knew 
very little about the Highlands, and his experience 
in the First Bishops' War would not prepossess him 
in favour of the desultory bands who accompanied 
Huntly's Lowland levies to battle. Had he known 
more he would not have been greatly encouraged. 
There were no ordinary politics among the hills. 


The chiefs were Royalists only in as much as they 
were not Covenanters. He could, indeed, have 
counted on the assistance of all those who hated 
the name of Campbell — the Clan Chattan, the Clan 
Donald, the Stewarts, the Camerons, and the Macleans. 
But Seaforth and his Mackenzies would never fight 
on the same side as a Macdonald, and, if he enlisted 
the Gordons, he might look to find the Grants in 
the other camp. 

If Montrose's mission was desperate in purpose, 
it was no less desperate in its lack of a base. He 
flung himself into the midst of a hostile country to 
improvise his army. Nothing could be looked for 
from the king. Even had Charles been that ideal 
monarch whom Montrose, out of a few interviews, 
had created in his fancy, he could have done little to 
help his champion. As it was he passed from blunder 
to blunder, enraging by his duplicity both friend and 
foe. The man who fought for a Stuart must be 
content to wage war without reserves. His life and 
his reputation alike must be in his own keeping. 

Accompanied by Ogilvy and others of his friends, 
Montrose made for Newcastle's camp. He found 
that unfortunate and by no means skilful general 
at Durham, and in the worst of spirits. Leven was 
at his gates, and Fairfax and Manchester were closing 
up on him from the south. He received Montrose 
with courtesy, but gave him little help. A hundred 


ill-mounted troopers and two brass cannon were the 
most the perplexed nobleman could spare for the con- 
quest of Scotland. Another disappointment was in 
store, for old Carnwath, who happened to be in 
Newcastle's camp, refused to accept from Montrose's 
hands the king's commission as lieutenant of Clydesdale. 
It was a foretaste of the spirit of even the loyal among 
the Scots nobles. Newcastle, however, called out 
for him the militia of the northern counties, and sundry 
local gentlemen joined his standard. It was with a 
force of some thirteen hundred men that he crossed 
the Border on the 13th of April and marched towards 
Dumfries. But he had not forded the Annan before 
trouble began. The English militia, worked upon 
by Sir Richard Graham of Netherby, deserted. With 
his few hundred followers he reached Dumfries, and 
occupied the town without opposition. The provost, 
a Maxwell, welcomed him gladly, and a few months 
later swung for it in Edinburgh. 

It was very soon apparent that nothing could be 
done in the Lowlands. The Maxwells and Johnstones 
of the Dumfries neighbourhood were in no mood 
to rise, and their heads, Nithsdale and Hartfell, were 
jealous of the new commander. Annandale, Morton, 
Roxburgh, and Traquair, though nominally Royalists, 
refused, like Carnwath, the king's commission of 
lieutenancy, by means of which Montrose had hoped to 
organize a powerful opposition.^'^) Further east, Lothian 

ttmt \/he • ^^^lacrut na ' * 


was hot for the Parliament, and the " bauld Buccleuch " 
was commanding — with little credit to himself — a regi- 
ment under Leven. The peasantry round about were 
under the thumb of the ministers and fickle noblemen like 
Glencairn. Montrose issued a declaration explaining 
that he was now in arms for the king, on the same 
principle as he had once been in arms for the 
Covenant — " for the defence and maintenance of the 
true Protestant religion, his Majesty's just and sacred 
authority, the fundamental laws and privileges of 
Parliament, the peace and freedom of oppressed and 
enthralled subjects." " Knew I not perfectly," he 
added, " his Majesty's intention to be such, and so 
real as is already expressed, I should never at all 
have embarked myself in his service. Nor did 1 
but see the least appearance of his Majesty's change 
from these resolutions or any of them, I should never 
continue longer my faithful endeavour in it."^'^^ But 
he was talking a language which the burghers of 
Dumfries, and for that matter the Scots people, did 
not understand. " It was not," in Mr. Gardiner's 
words, " for the restoration of a dead past that he drew 
his sword. He stood up for that which was, in some 
sort, the hope of the future." ^'^^ And the language 
of the future is always strange in contemporary ears. 
Montrose lingered on, waiting for news of Antrim's men ; 
which seems to argue that Galloway, instead of Argyll, 
may have been one of their possible objectives. But 


no news came. He received, however, a message 
of another kind from his niece, Lady Stirling of Keir, 
inviting him on behalf of the commander, Lord 
Sinclair, to take possession of the castle of Stirling 
and the town of Perth. Sinclair and his second in 
command. Sir James Turner, were probably sincere 
in their offer ; but it was lucky for Montrose that 
he did not attempt to accept it. For the Covenant 
had got wind of the intentions of the pair, and while 
Montrose was reading the letter, Callander, with 
Sinclair and Turner in tow, was marching south. 
Callander — who had once been Almond and a party to 
the Cumbernauld Bond — presently occupied Dumfries, 
while Montrose and his handful recrossed the Border. 
Meanwhile two events had befallen the Royalist leader. 
He had received his patent of marquis from the king, 
and had been excommunicated by the Kirk in 
Edinburgh. The latter honour was also conferred 
at the same time upon Huntly, who had just been 
attempting an aimless and ill-managed rising in the 
north, and was now hiding in Strathnaver. 

For two months Montrose waited for Scottish news 
and kept Callander busy on the western Marches. 
Meantime Newcastle had flung himself into York, 
where he was closely beset by Leven, Fairfax, and 
Manchester. The centre of the war was shifting 
northward, but Montrose had no better share in it 
than desultory Border fighting. He got together 


a few troops, and captured Morpeth after a siege of 
twenty days. This exploit, performed without a single 
cannon, has scarcely been given the credit it deserves/'^^ 
He collected supplies in Northumberland, and succeeded 
in getting them into Newcastle-on-Tyne. Presently he 
received a summons from Prince Rupert, then marching 
through Lancashire to the relief of York. He set 
off to join him, but before they met the king's cause 
had suffered its first crushing disaster. Rupert indeed 
relieved York, but on the 2nd of July, about five in the 
afternoon, he met the Parliamentary forces on Marston 
Moor, and discovered that new thing in England — the 
shock of Cromwell's horse. His army was scattered, 
Newcastle fled overseas, and he himself with some 
six thousand troops rode west into the hills. Two 
days after the battle, Montrose found him in an inn at 
Richmond, but Rupert had nothing to give ; on the 
contrary, he stood much in need of Montrose's scanty 
recruits. So with a sad heart the new marquis rode 
by Brough and Appleby to Carlisle, to indite his report 
to the king. 

Four months had passed and nothing had been 
done. Ogilvy and Sir William Rollo had journeyed 
secretly into Scotland, and had returned with ill news. 
The land lay quiet under the Covenant, and Antrim's 
levies seemed to have vanished into the air. The 
nobles, headed by Traquair, were tumbling over each 
other in their anxiety to swear fealty to Argyll. There 


seemed nothing to be done except to surrender the 
royal commission, and go abroad to wait for a happier 
time. So his friends advised, and Montrose made 
a pretence of acquiescing. He set out for the south 
with the others, having taken Ogilvy into his confidence. 
A little way from Carlisle he slipped behind, but 
as his servants and baggage went on it was presumed 
that he was following. Had he continued he would 
have shared in the capture of the whole party by 
Fairfax at Ribble Bridge. 

He had resolved on the craziest of ventures. He 
would break through the Covenanting cordon in the 
Lowlands^ and win to his own country. There, at 
any rate, were loyal hearts, and something might be 
devised to turn the tide. He chose as his companions 
the lame Sir William Rollo (who had been on Ogilvy's 
expedition a month before) and an officer who had 
fought under him in the Bishops' War, Colonel Sibbald. 
They wore the dress of Leven's troopers, while 
Montrose followed behind as their groom, riding 
one ill-conditioned beast and leading another. 

It was a dangerous road to travel. The country 
was strewn with broken men and patrolled by 
Covenanting horse, and a gentleman in those days was 
not so easily disguised. At first all went smoothly. 
Passing through the woods of Netherby, they learned 
that Sir Richard Graham had joined the Covenant, 
and in its interests had constituted himself Warden 


of the Marches. His servant, from whom they had 
the news, spoke freely, as if to Leven's troopers. A 
little further on they fell in with a Scot, one of 
Newcastle's soldiers, who disregarded the troopers, but 
paid great attention to their groom, hailing him by 
his proper title. Montrose tried to deny it ; but the 
man exclaimed, " What, do I not know my Lord 
Marquis of Montrose well enough ? But go your 
way, and God be with you." A gold piece rewarded 
the untimely well-wisher. 

The journey must have grown daily more anxious 
till the Forth was passed. " It may be thought," says 
Patrick Gordon, "that God Almighty sent His good 
angel to lead the way, for he went, as if a cloud had 
environed him, through all his enemies." We do not 
know the road they travelled — whether by Annandale 
and then by Tweed or Clyde, or up Eskdale and thence 
over the Tweedside range to the Lothians. The safest 
way was probably to follow the belt of moorland which 
runs north by Carnwath almost to the Highland hills. 
The distance from Carlisle to Perth can be little short 
of a hundred miles, and the party made good progress, 
riding both by day and night. On the fourth day 
they came into the Montrose lands in Stirling and 
Strathearn, but they did not draw rein till they reached 
the house of Tullibelton between Perth and Dunkeld. 
Here lived Patrick Graham of Inchbrakie, one of 
the best loved of all the Montrose kinsmen, and 


here was safe shelter for the traveller while he spied 
out the land and looked about for an army. 

The curtain rises, and the first act of the great 
drama reveals a forlorn little party late on an August 
evening knocking at the door of a woodland tower 
above the shining reaches of Tay. The king's 
lieutenant-general makes a very modest entry on 
the scene. Two followers, four sorry horses, little 
money and no baggage, seem a slender outfit for the 
conquest of a kingdom ; but in six months he was 
to see Scotland at his feet. 



(September 1644.) 

For six days the royal lieutenant lay close in hiding, 
while his comrades scoured the country for news. 
Tullibelton was too near the Lowland town of Perth, 
and its laird too noted a loyalist, for his guest to run 
needless risks, and Montrose spent most of his time 
in the woods and hills, sleeping at night in hunters' 
bothies. The scouts returned with a melancholy 
report. Huntly had made a mess of it in the north, 
and the Gordons were leaderless and divided, while the 
influence of their uncle, Argyll, was driving Huntly's 
sons to the Covenant camp. Some of the Graham and 
Drummond kinsmen, even, with the alternative of 
prison and fines before them, were in arms for the 
Estates. There were rumours of Covenant levies in 
Aberdeenshire, and Argyll in the west had his clan 
in arms. Montrose in his despondency may well have 
wondered at this strange activity. The tide of war 
had rolled over the Border, and with Scotland in so 


iron a grip such precautions may well have seemed 
odd to one who knew the economical spirit of the 

He was soon to learn the reason, and at the same 
time recognize his opportunity. The incident is best 
told in the words of Patrick Gordon, who had the 
story from Montrose's own lips : — 

" As he was one day in Methven Wood, staying for the night, 
because there was no safe travelling by day, he became transported 
with sadness, grief, and pity to see his native country thus brought 
into miserable bondage and slavery through the turbulent and 
blind zeal of some preachers ; and now persecuted by the unlawful 
and ambitious ends of some of the nobility, and so far had they 
already prevailed that the event was much to be feared, and by 
good patriots to be lamented. And therefore, in a deep grief and 
unwonted ravishment, he besought the Divine Majesty, with watery 
eyes and a sorrowful heart, that His justly kindled indignation 
might be appeased and, His mercy extended, the cause removed ; 
and that it might please Him to make him a humble instrument 
therein, to His Holy and Divine Majesty's greater glory. While 
he was in this thought, lifting up his eyes, he beholds a man 
coming the way to St. Johnston (Perth) with a fiery cross in his 
hand. Hastily stepping towards him, he inquired what the matter 
meant ? The messenger told him that Coll Mac Gillespick — for 
so was Alexander Macdonald called by the Highlanders — -was 
entered in Athole with a great army of the Irish, and threatened 
to burn the whole country if they did not rise with him against the 
Covenant, and he, the messenger, was sent to advertise St. Johnston 
that all the country might be raised to resist him." 

Antrim's levies had come out of the mist at last. 


Presently he received a letter from Alastair Macdonald 
himself, directed to the king's lieutenant-general at 
Carlisle. The messenger who carried it asked directions 
from Inchbrakie, who took the dispatch and promised 
to deliver it. In the letter Macdonald announced his 
arrival and begged for instructions. If Montrose 
needed help, no less did the Irish commander. 

Alastair Macdonald was of the ancient stock of 
Dunyveg in Islay, the son of a Colonsay Macdonald, 
commonly called Coll Keitach, or " Coll who can fight 
with either hand." The name was corrupted into 
Colkitto, and transferred by the Lowlanders from the 
father to the son. Sorley Boy Macdonald, the father 
of the first Earl of Antrim, had been his father's 
great-uncle. The Macdonnells of Antrim were near 
blood relations of Alastair's own people, the Mac- 
donalds of Islay and Kintyre, and the Campbell 
oppression of the latter clan had left bitter memories 
on both sides of the North Channel. 

When Antrim, after many difficulties with the 
Supreme Council, had by the end of June raised 
1 5600 recruits, he turned to Alastair, a man of vast 
size and proved courage, to lead them against his 
ancestral foe. Early in July the invaders landed in 
Ardnamurchan, an old territory of the Macdonalds, 
and proceeded to exact vengeance on the unfortunate 
Campbell settlers. The king's quarrel was forgotten 
in a more intimate and personal strife. Alastair 

(1.744) 6 


ravaged the peninsula with fire and sword, and seized 
as a base the castle of Mingaray and the old keep of 
Lochaline, which still stands where the little river Aline 
enters the sea. He sent messengers through the West 
Highlands to summon the other Macdonalds to help 
him in his task. But the hand of Clan Diarmaid lay 
heavy on Glencoe and the Isles, and he got few recruits. 
Soon his position became desperate, for Argyll was 
raising an army for revenge ; so he swept back to his 
base, only to find that all his ships had been destroyed. 
Alastair, though an indifferent general, was a bold 
fighter, and he resolved to bid for Gordon support, 
though it meant marching across the breadth of 
Scotland. He led his troops through Morvern and 
round by the head of Loch Eil to the glens of 
Lochaber, the western fringe of Huntly's country. 
Here he had his second piece of ill-tidings. Huntly's 
revolt was over, and the Gordons had made their peace 
with the Covenant. There was nothing for it but to 
try the more northern clans, and his next venture was 
Kintail. But the Mackenzies, little though they loved 
the Campbells, had a long memory of Macdonald 
misdeeds, and their chief, Seaforth, warned off the 
intruders. Headed back on all sides Alastair decided 
that the boldest course was the safest. He marched 
south again to Badenoch on the head waters of the 
Spey, and himself issued a summons calling on the 
clans to rise in the name of the king and Huntly. 


This brought him some five hundred recruits, most of 
them Gordons ; but he could get no nearer the heart 
of that powerful clan, for the Grants, Forbeses, and 
Frasers blocked the road down Spey, and 1,000 ot 
Seaforth's Mackenzies lent their aid. Alastair now 
seemed in a fair way to be exterminated. The 
Campbells intercepted his retreat to the sea, and Argyll 
was hot-foot on his track. Seaforth cut him off from 
the north and east, the new Badenoch levies were 
mutinous and distrustful, and south lay the un- 
friendly Lowlands and clans like the Stewarts of Atholl, 
who would never serve under any leader of an alien 
name. He had proved that whoever might band the 
Highlands into an army, it would not be a man of 
Highland blood. Hence his despairing letter to the 
king's lieutenant-general asking for help and instruc- 
tions. He can scarcely have hoped for much from his 
appeal, for Carlisle was a far cry from Badenoch, and 
he had the enemy on every side. 

Montrose sent back an answer, bidding Alastair be 
of good heart and await him at Blair. It must have 
seemed a hard saying to a man who believed that 
his correspondent was still at Carlisle, but he obeyed 
and marched into the braes of Atholl. The local 
clans resented his intrusion, the fiery cross was sent 
round, and at any moment there was the likelihood 
of a desperate conflict between two forces who alike 
detested the Covenant and followed the king. The 


Irish levies were stout fellows in hard condition, but 
they were uncouthly dressed, wild-eyed from much 
travel, and, after their custom, attended by a mob of 
half-starved women and children. The Atholl clans 
living on the fringe of the Lowlands may well have 
looked askance at such outlandish warriors. 

The situation was saved by a hairbreadth. Montrose, 
accompanied by Patrick Graham the younger of Inch- 
brakie — Black Pate, as the countryside called him — 
set off on foot over the hills to keep the tryst. He 
had acquired, probably from Inchbrakie, a Highland 
dress — the trews, a short coat, and a plaid round his 
shoulders. He wore, we are told, a blue bonnet with 
a bunch of oats as a badge, and he carried a broadsword 
and a Highland buckler. Thus accoutred he entered 
upon the scene in the true manner of romance, 
unlooked for and invincible. Alastair and his ragged 
troops were waiting hourly on battle, when across the 
moor they saw two figures advancing. Black Pate was 
known to every Atholl man, and there were many who 
had seen Montrose. Loud shouts of welcome apprised 
the Ulsterman that here was no bonnet-laird, and when 
he heard that it was indeed the king's lieutenant 
he could scarcely believe his eyes. He had looked for 
cavalry, an imposing bodyguard, and a figure more like 
his own swashbuckling self than this slim young man 
with the quiet face and searching grey eyes. 

In a moment all quarrels were forgotten. Montrose 


revealed his commission and Alastair gladly took service 
under him, thankful to be out of a plight which for 
weeks had looked hopeless. The AthoU Highlanders 
were carried off their feet by the grace and fire of 
their new leader. The Stewarts and Robertsons, 
to the number of 800, brought to his standard 
those broadswords which that morning had been dedi- 
cated to cutting Ulster throats. Montrose slept the 
night at the house of Lude, and next morning unfurled 
the royal standard on a green knoll above the Tilt. 
The king's lieutenant had got him an army. 

At first sight it seemed an indifferent force. At 
the most it numbered 2,500 men. The Highlanders 
were active fellows, accustomed to an outdoor life, 
but their equipment was fantastic, for only a few 
carried claymores, and most were armed with pikes, 
and sticks, and bows and arrows. Alastair's Ulstermen 
were regular soldiers, inured to discipline, and seasoned 
by hard campaigns, and they had the advantage of 
bearing firearms. But these firearms were old match- 
locks, and the stock of ammunition was so low that 
only one round remained for each man. There was 
no artillery, and, since horses were scarce in the 
Highlands, the only cavalry mounts were three of 
the unfortunate beasts that had carried Montrose and 
his friends from Carlisle. If a blow was to be struck 
it must be at once, for the Council was arming against 
the invaders, though as yet Edinburgh had no news 


of Montrose. Elcho was at Perth with a large force 
of burghers and men from Fife and the Perthshire 
Lowlands. Lord Balfour of Burleigh had another 
army at Aberdeen, with the young Gordons serving 
under him ; while from the west Argyll was leading 
his formidable clan to avenge the smoking homesteads 
of Morvern and Ardnamurchan. Montrose had no 
supplies, no reserve of ammunition, no means of 
increasing his force except by victory. He must fight 
at once, and he chose the nearest enemy. 

On the 30th day of August he led his men from 
Blair through the hills to Loch Tummel, and thence 
by the eastern side of Schiehallion to Aberfeldy. The 
same night they crossed the Tay. At dawn next 
morning Black Pate led on the Atholl men as an 
advance guard, and the army marched with Highland 
swiftness across Strathbran and by the Sma' Glen to 
the Almond. There at the Hill of Buchanty they fell 
in with an unexpected reinforcement. Lord Kilpont, 
the eldest son of the Earl of Menteith : David 
Drummond, the Master of Maderty : and Sir John 
Drummond, Lord Perth's younger son, had raised 
500 bowmen at the order of the Estates to oppose 
Alastair's invasion. The leaders were kin to the 
Graham house, and when they knew that it was 
Montrose who was advancing their purpose changed. 
They gladly joined the royal general, and brought him 
a welcome accession of stalwart peasants, who, living 


on the border line between Highlands and Lowlands, 
had some of the virtues of both. The force crossed 
the ridge to Strathearn, and spent the night on the 
moor of Fowlis. 

It was now Sunday, the ist of September. Elcho had 
nearly seven thousand men, including a body of seven 
hundred horse, and nine pieces of artillery. He had 
ample munitions of war, and his troops were fortified 
by the Sabbath-morning exhortations of a convoy of 
ministers. To give these latter their due, says Wishart, 
" they plied their lungs stoutly in the performance of 
that work ; they most freely promised them, in the 
name of Almighty God, an easy and unbloody victory. 
Nay, there was one Frederick Carmichael . . . who was 
not afraid to deliver this passage in his sermon, * If 
ever God spake word of truth out of my mouth, I 
promise you in His name assured victory this day.' " 
With Elcho, too, was the flower of the neighbouring 
Covenanting gentry, including Lord Murray of Gask,^'^^ 
and some who were not Covenanting, like Lord 
Drummond ; and he had the assistance of at least 
one experienced professional soldier. Sir James Scott 
of Rossie, who had just come from serving under the 
flag of Venice. Little wonder that the Covenant forces 
were in good heart. They had seen something of the 
Highlander in the First Bishops' War, and thought 
little of his prowess. They knew that Alastair's troops 
were in rags — as one of the ministers described them, 


*' naked, weaponless, ammunitionless, cannonless men." 
Their view was that of Elspeth's ballad in The 
Antiquary : — 

" My horse shall ride through ranks sae rude, 
As through the moorland fern ; 
Then ne'er let gentle Norman blude 
Grow cauld for Highland kerne." 

Besides, they outnumbered the enemy by nearly three 
to one. So, early in the day, Elcho with his army 
marched three miles out to Tippermuir, accompanied 
by many of the Perth citizens who were not unwilling 
to see a surprising judgment fall upon their ancient foes. 
He took up a good position in open ground 
where his cavalry had room to move. Montrose 
had at the most 3,000 men — including probably 
1,200 Ulstermen, 500 of Alastair's Badenoch recruits, 
800 Atholl men, and Kilpont's 500 bowmen. His 
cavalry, as we have noted, was confined to the three 
lean horses from Carlisle. The most pressing lack 
was ammunition, for only the Irish had guns, and 
they had but one round apiece. On Tippermuir, 
however, there were plenty of stones, and with 
these as missile-weapons he bade the rest arm 
themselves. He put the Irish under Alastair in 
the centre of his little force, and Kilpont with his 
bowmen on the left, while he himself led his Atholl 
men on the right flank, where they were opposed to 

Campaign of 

Montrose's first M./rrh — 
Second ■• — - 



Sir James Scott's horse. He saw clearly that Elcho 
with his cavalry would surround him if he did not 
strike straight at his heart. Further, he knew some- 
thing of the temper of the unwilling Lowland levies — 
men drawn from the counter and the plough-tail to 
a work for which they had little stomach. To such 
the wild charge of the clans would be a new experience. 
Then, true to his duty as a constitutional commander, 
he sent Maderty with a flag of truce to inform Elcho 
that he was acting under the royal commission, that 
he wished above all things to avoid shedding Scottish 
blood, and to summon him to remember his due and 
lawful allegiance. The Covenanters were to show at 
all times a curious dislike of the etiquette of civilized 
warfare. They promptly made Maderty prisoner and 
sent him to Perth, telling him genially that they would 
attend to his beheading when the fight was over. 

The contest began with a skirmish. Lord Drummond 
rode out from the Covenant army with a squadron, in 
order to entice Montrose into one of those partial attacks 
to which an undisciplined army is prone. It was the one 
glimmer of tactical knowledge that Elcho displayed. 
But Montrose was ready. He had drawn up his men 
in a long line only three deep, with instructions to the 
Irish to kneel and fire their pieces when they were 
within range, and to the ranks behind to deliver a 
volley of stones. The volley sent Drummond flying 
and halted Elcho's advance. Then Montrose gave the 


order to charge. From behind the smoke came the 
fierce kerns of Ulster and Badenoch, with pike and 
claymore and Lochaber axe. The shouts of men who 
had to win or perish struck terror into the Lowland 
hearts. Elcho's centre crumpled like paper, and in a 
few minutes was racing back on the road to Perth. On 
the Covenant left alone was there any serious resistance. 
There stood Scott with his horse on rising ground, and 
for a little he and the Atholl men disputed the hill. 
But Montrose soon won the crest, and the cavalry fled 
with the others. The place was littered with lathered 
horse and panting foot. ^^°^ 

Then followed a grim slaughter. Scarcely a dozen 
fell in the battle, but nearly two thousand died in the 
rout ; some from the swords of Montrose, some from 
sheer fatigue, for we are told that nine or ten Perth 
burgesses succumbed unwounded to their unusual 
exertions. Presently the enemy were at the gates of 
Perth, and the city surrendered without a word. 
Cannons, arms, supplies, tents, colours, drums, baggage, 
all were the spoil of the victors. Montrose kept his 
wild force in check. He refused to allow the captured 
guns to be turned against the fugitives, and he would 
not permit his men to rob or slay within the walls. 
He contented himself with fining the burghers £s'^i 
which went to Alastair, who was in desperate straits for 
money, and he levied a large contribution of cloth to 
amend the raggedness of his army. 


For three days Montrose tarried at Perth. He took 
up his quarters in the town, in the house of one 
Margaret Donaldson, and sent to Kinnaird for his old 
tutor, William Forrett, and his two elder sons, Lord 
Graham and Lord James. Like Cromwell, he had the 
ministers to dinner, and one of them was afterwards 
taken to task by the Presbytery for saying grace at his 
table. Meantime his victory did not bring him the 
recruits he had hoped for. Lord Dupplin ^"^ being the 
only man of note who arrived at his camp. The 
Highlanders, according to their custom, made off to 
their homes to secrete their booty, and his force was 
soon reduced to little more than Alastair's Irishry. 
There were two other armies waiting to be met, and 
one of them, Argyll's, was approaching rapidly from 
the west. Montrose decided that his force was not 
sufficient to oppose Argyll, and at that time he does 
not seem to have been aware of the existence of Lord 
Balfour at Aberdeen. His immediate aim was to 
collect recruits in his own county of Angus, and, if 
possible, capture Dundee.^"^ On the 4th of September 
he left Perth, and crossing the Tay, reached the neigh- 
bourhood of Coupar-Angus. 

That night the camp was stirred by a tragedy. 
Young Lord Kilpont shared a tent with James Stewart 
of Ardvoirlich. A quarrel arose in the small hours, 
and Stewart stabbed Kilpont to the heart, killed two 
sentries, and with his son and some friends escaped 


to the Covenanters. Argyll procured him a pardon 
from the Estates, and, to give further proof of his 
partiality for assassination, issued a proclamation offering 
a sum of money to any one who would slay Montrose 
and exhibit his head to the Parliament in Edinburgh. 
The murderer was also to have a free pardon for any 
crimes he might have been unfortunate enough to 
commit in the past. Mr. Gardiner dryly points out 
the inconsistency of this course. " When Argyll 
desolated the Highland glens with fire and sword, 
he was but inflicting due punishment on barbarians. 
When Montrose gathered the Highlanders to the 
slaughter of the burghers and farmers of the Lowlands, 
he placed himself outside the pale of civilized war- 
fare." ^''^^ The natural presumption from Argyll's 
reception of Stewart was that Stewart had been 
endeavouring to anticipate the wishes of the Estates, 
and had tried to persuade Kilpont, who had refused. 
For such a view there is no evidence, and it is 
intrinsically unlikely. Kilpont would have offered 
barren soil for such a proposal, and Stewart knew this 
as well as anybody. It is more probable that the 
account given in Stewart's official pardon is the true 
one. He had proposed to desert, and Kilpont, divining 
his intention, tried to prevent him and was slain. Or, 
if we like, we can take the family tradition referred 
to by Scott in his Legend of MonirosCy that Stewart 
had challenged Alastair, that Kilpont had them both 


arrested, and that afterwards in their cups Kilpont and 
Stewart had words which ended in the fatal blow. 
Argyll and the Estates have so many deeds of violence 
on their shoulders that the impartial historian is glad to 
relieve them of one. 



(September-December 1644.) 

Dundee proved out of the question. It was too well 
garrisoned for 1,500 men to take, and the guns captured 
at TIppermuir were no siege-pieces. Montrose moved 
accordingly to the upper waters of the Esks in the hope 
of enlisting some of the loyal gentlemen of Angus. 
Here he had definite word of Lord Balfour's army at 
Aberdeen, which determined his next step. The Angus 
recruits came in slowly. Lord Airlie indeed appeared, 
the father of Lord Ogilvy who had been captured at 
Ribble Bridge. No Ogilvy was ever anything but a 
king's man, and two of the sons. Sir Thomas and Sir 
David, accompanied their father. With the Gordons 
Montrose fared no better than had Alastair Macdonald. 
Huntly was still lurking among the bogs of Strath- 
naver. Aboyne, the second son, was fighting for the 
king in the garrison at Carlisle, and Lord Gordon, 
the heir, and his younger brother. Lord Lewis, were 
with Balfour at Aberdeen. The clan, however, was not 


wholly unrepresented in the royal army. Nathaniel 
Gordon had stood with Huntly in his rising, and now 
rode joyfully to join the new king's lieutenant. He 
was an intrepid and seasoned soldier, but as rash as any 
subaltern of Alastair's. It is a pity that no romancer 
has made him the subject of a tale, for his career, both 
early and late, offers rich material. Before he took 
part in politics, brigandage, piracy, and the rabbling 
of Mr. Andrew Cant had been among the simple 
diversions of his life. With Airlie had come forty-four 
horsemen, so the little army was not without its cavalry. 
Keeping to the skirts of the hills Montrose marched 
through the Mearns, and crossed the Dee about mid- 
way between Banchory and the Mills of Drum. Crathes 
Castle, the stronghold of the Burnets of Leys, lay on 
the north bank, and was peacefully surrendered. Burnet 
was a staunch Covenanter, but he entertained the royal 
lieutenant hospitably, and indeed offered him a sum 
of money. The following day, the 12th of September, 
the army advanced down the river to within two miles 
of the town of Aberdeen, where they found Balfour 
awaiting them. Montrose had avoided the main road, 
having no desire to dispute the strongly-fortified bridge 
of Dee, but the Covenanters had had ample warning, 
and had taken up a good position on the slope of a 
hill. A lane ran downwards from their centre, and 
around the foot of it were houses and gardens, which 
were strongly held. Balfour had some 2,000 foot, 500 


cavalry, and better artillery than the guns brought from 
Tipperniuir. The cavalry seem to have been chiefly 
the gentry of the northern Lowlands, like the Forbeses, 
Erasers, and Crichtons, and twenty horse were under 
the separate command of Lord Lewis Gordon. The 
infantry were the usual Covenanting levies, including 
a proportion of Aberdeen townspeople, and the remnants 
of Elcho's Fife regiment. It was Montrose's business 
to beat this force as soon as possible, for Argyll was 
lumbering in his wake, and Fabian tactics would land 
him between two fires. 

On the morning of the 13th, according to his 
custom, he sent in an envoy to the magistrates of the 
city summoning them to surrender, and advising them, 
at any rate, to send the women and children to a place 
of safety. It was a merciful act, which was un- 
generously requited, for a drummer-boy who accom- 
panied the messenger was brutally slain by one of the 
Fife troopers. A breach of the laws of war always 
offended Montrose, and this was a peculiarly wanton 
breach. He vowed to make the enemy pay dearly for 
the misdeed, and promised Alastair the sack of the city 
if the day was won. Without delay he drew up his 
forces for battle. The Irish as before held the centre, 
and on the right wing Sir William Rollo and Colonel 
James Hay commanded, while Nathaniel Gordon led 
the left. He divided his cavalry into equal portions, 
and placed one on each wing, while in both cases he 


stiffened the score of horsemen with musketeers and 
bowmen interspersed among them. The little force was 
the nearest approach to a regular army that he had yet 
commanded, for every one was adequately armed, and 
nearly all had some experience of war. Balfour, who 
was nothing of a general, was content with his superior 
position, heavier guns, and more numerous cavalry. 
He had little authority and no plan, of battle, and his 
lieutenants followed their own devices. 

The fight began with an attack on the houses and 
gardens that protected the Covenant centre. Alastair 
had little difficulty in driving the enemy out of these 
and advancing up the slope. Presently Lord Lewis 
Gordon charged with his twenty horse on Montrose's 
left, and Lord Eraser and Crichton of Fre n draught ^^^^ 
followed, but they knew nothing of the value of shock 
tactics, and sporadic assaults of this sort were easy to 
repulse. On the Covenant's left wing the cavalry had 
apparently no orders, and at first sat staring at the 

Soon, however, an unexpected danger threatened 
Montrose. Some wiser head among the Covenanters 
had sent 100 horse and 400 foot round his left 
wing by a mill road which was out of sight of the 
combatants. The device all but succeeded. They 
turned the Royalist flank, and in a few minutes would 
have taken Nathaniel Gordon in the rear. But they 
were too slow, and Montrose had time to bring up 

(1,744) y 


RoUo's horse from his own right, and to push loo 
musketeers against them. In a little the attackers 
became the attacked, their cavalry fled, and few of 
the infantry returned to tell the tale. Sir William 
Forbes of Craigievar had charged Montrose's right when 
Rollo had been drawn off" to the left wing. The attack 
fell wholly upon Alastair's infantry, and gallantly they 
met it. They opened their ranks and let the troopers 
sweep through ; then facing round they pursued them 
with volleys. The Covenant horse were soon out of 
action. ^^5) 

It was the turning-point of the fight, which had now 
lasted for several hours. Montrose, who had darted 
from flank to flank, reinforcing and cheering his troops, 
called on his men for a general charge. The Irish 
responded with enthusiasm, the whole force swept 
forward, and the Covenanting centre broke and fled. 
The ground between the battlefield and the city walls 
was a scene of heavy slaughter, and Alastair's men, 
mindful of Montrose's promise before the fight, burst 
into the streets in pursuit. No doubt the horrors of 
that sack have been greatly exaggerated, and the 
evidence in particular of the killing of women is far 
from conclusive ; <^*^ but enough is established to con- 
vict Montrose of a share in a grievous barbarity. It 
was the only time in his life that he was guilty of 
needless bloodshed, and natural indignation at the boy's 
murder, and a rash promise to Alastair, are no defence 


for one who must be judged by the highest standards. 
He seems indeed to have repented, and tried at the 
last moment to save the city, ^^^^ but the mischief had 
been done. The sack of Aberdeen was not only a 
crime, it was a gross blunder. It was no Covenanting 
city, and the majority of those who perished had been 
forced into the fight — as Spalding says, " harllit out 
sore against their wills to fight against the King's 
lieutenant." He had spoiled his chance of getting 
recruits for the king among the burghers of Deeside. 
All over Scotland, too, the tale, zealously disseminated 
by the Covenanters, and of course wildly exaggerated, 
must have deterred moderate men from casting in their 
lot with one whose methods seemed more like a Tilly 
or a Wallenstein than a kindly Scot. 

After waiting three days, on Monday, the i6th of Sep- 
tember, Montrose left the city and marched by Kintore 
and Inverurie up the Don valley. Two days later the 
heavy-footed Argyll entered Aberdeen, and proceeded 
to exact contributions from the surviving citizens. 
Soon the news of the battle reached Edinburgh, and 
began to disquiet the Estates. Argyll might be a 
pillar of the Kirk, but he was very slow in bringing 
the malefactors to book. The Scottish Covenanters in 
London held an edifying debate, according to Baillie, 
as to whether their misfortunes were due " to the sins 
of the Assembly, the sins of the Parliament, the sins 


of the army, or the sins of the people." Requisitions 
were sent to Leven at Newcastle, who dispatched 
r,ooo of his best troops, including a body of cavalry. 
Lothian, Argyll's master of horse, apparently received 
the reinforcements under Marischal somewhere in Aber- 
deenshire. Meanwhile Montrose had made another 
desperate appeal to the Gordons, but the clan was 
dumb. They would not stir without Huntly's word, 
and Huntly, jealous of a royal commission which 
interfered with his own lieutenancy of the north, and 
not forgetful of his treatment by Montrose in the First 
Bishops' War, refused to give it. The place was get- 
ting unhealthy for a loyalist with Argyll a day's march 
off, so Montrose retreated into the hill country around 
Rothiemurchus, and somewhere on the road he buried 
the cannon which he had captured in Aberdeen. ^'^^ 
Here Alastair left him on an expedition of his own, 
to raise recruits among the Clan Donald, and to see 
to the security of his castles of Mingary and Lochaline, 
Montrose had probably now little more than fivt 
hundred men behind him. 

At Rothiemurchus he fell seriously ill ; it was 
rumoured in the south that he was dead ; and from 
Lowland pulpits the Almighty was publicly thanked 
for espousing the Covenant's quarrel. But the illness 
was short, and by the 4th of October he was getting his 
men south into Atholl. Now began what Baillie calls 
a " strange coursing," Montrose leading the dance, and 


Argyll some seven or eight days behind footing it 
heavily from Spey to Tay and from Tay to Don. 
Montrose darted eastward, and, clinging to the flanks 
of the hills, crossed the Dee at his old ford on the 
17th of October. Here he sanctioned the burning of 
the lands of Covenanting owners, like the Erasers and 
Crichtons, in retaliation for the fire and sword which 
Argyll had borne to every one suspected of loyalty. 
By the 20th he was in Strathbogie, busy once more 
with fruitless appeals to the Gordons. Here he had 
word of Argyll's approach, and retired to Fyvie Castle 
on the Ythan. He thought Argyll was scarcely yet 
over the Grampians, when in reality he was almost 
within musket-shot. For once the king's lieutenant 
was caught napping. 

Fyvie, an old seat of the Earls of Dunfermline, had 
become more of a seventeenth-century dwelling-house 
than a feudal tower. On three sides lay bogs with 
strips of hardened ground too narrow for the approach 
of an army. On the eastern side was a long low ridge 
of hill, thickly wooded on one face, and here Montrose 
drew up his men. He was short of ammunition, and 
melted down the pewter vessels of the castle to make 
bullets ; for powder he looked to the pouches of the 
enemy. Argyll, thinking that at last he had driven his 
nimble foe into a blind alley, and strong In the con- 
sciousness of a force at least four times as large, attacked 
the position with — for him — considerable spirit. The 


omens were propitious, for a handful of Gordon horse, 
who had been enlisted in Strathbogie, deserted at the 
first shot. The Covenanting centre advanced up the 
little hill, and was half-way to the top before Montrose 
saw his danger. He called to a young Ulsterman, 
O'Kean, ^''^ whom Alastair had left behind him, and 
bade him drive the enemy from the slope. The gallant 
Irish charged with pike and broadsword, drove back 
the Covenanters, and obtained a supply of powder for 
their famished muskets. It is recorded that one of 
them, looking at the booty, said, " We must at them 
again ; the stingy rogues have left us no bullets.'* 
Meanwhile Lothian's horse had assaulted Montrose's 
position on the flank. But the powder-flasks were now 
replenished, and the fire of the musketeers, whom 
Montrose led round the brow of the hill, was too much 
for the lowland cavalry. Argyll drew off his men, 
and put the Ythan between himself and the enemy. 

But Fyvie was no place to linger at, since 500 
men cannot for ever defy an army. For three more 
days desultory attacks were made, in one of which 
Lord Marischal's brother was slain on the Covenant 
side. On the fourth night, under cover of darkness, 
Montrose slipped away, and was presently heard of 
in Strathbogie. Here he hoped for news of Alastair 
and his western men, but no news came. His aim 
is clear ; he had still hopes of the Gordons, and was 
loath to leave their country. This Argyll knew very 


well, and he too followed to Strathbogie, Jceeping up 
a show of attacks which were easily repulsed. But 
the Campbell chief was engaged on work more suited 
to his genius than fighting, and busied himself with 
making overtures to Montrose's Lowland oflScers. He 
did not ask them to betray their cause ; he only offered, 
of his generosity, free passes to any who wished to 
go home, asking no payment in return. It was an 
ingenious plan, and it largely succeeded. Sibbald, a 
companion on the ride from Carlisle, left, and the seeds 
were sown of further discontent. A council of war 
was called, and it was resolved to retreat into the hills. 
The Royalists marched by moorland roads to Balvenie 
on the Spey, out of reach of Argyll's horse, and there 
took stock of their position. Argyll, wisely avoiding 
the mountains, marched south again by an easier road, 
and lay with his army in the neighbourhood of Dun- 

At Balvenie matters came to a crisis. The Lowland 
gentlemen had no love for a campaign in midwinter, 
conducted at Montrose's incredible pace, and offering 
little hope of finality. They feared for their estates 
and families now at the mercy of the Covenant. More- 
over, Highland and Lowland are ill to mix, and they 
may have disliked their associates. Montrose accord- 
ingly proposed a descent on the Lowlands, the plan 
which he had always held in view, for his aim was to 
relieve the king by drawing back Leven from England. 


But the scheme found little favour. The Lowlanders 
may well have argued that success in hill warfare was 
no warrant for victory against regulars in a settled and 
hostile country, and the Highlanders had grievances 
of their own to avenge, which they thought of far 
greater moment than any royal necessities. Men like 
Kinnoul, Colonel Hay, and Sir John Drummond 
slipped away to make a temporary peace with the 
Covenant. Almost alone of the gentry old Airlie and 
his gallant sons refused to leave. They, like Montrose, 
fought not for safety or revenge, but for an ideal of 

It was now the end of November. In the levels the 
heavy rains told of the beginning of winter, and the 
hills were whitening with snow. Argyll was at Dun- 
keld, busy with attempts on the loyalty of Atholl, and 
he may well have believed that no general in his senses 
would continue the war in such inclement weather. 
Montrose resolved to disappoint his expectations, and 
led his handful of troops through the Badenoch passes for 
a descent on Dunkeld. But long ere he reached the Tay 
Argyll had news of him, and wisely decided that he 
at any rate would end the campaign. He dismissed 
his Campbells to their homes, sent his regulars into 
winter quarters, and himself repaired with all speed 
to Edinburgh, where he surrendered his commission 
into the hands of the Estates. Lothian and Callander 
refused the thankless post, and Baillie, one of the best 


of Leven's lieutenants, was summoned to Scotland to 
take up the command. 

At Blair, Montrose met Alastair returning from his 
western expedition. The meeting changed his plans. 
He had now the rest of the Ulstermen, and a large 
levy of the western clans. The Macdonalds had not 
forgotten Argyll's commission of fire and sword in 
1640, and the Macleans had long scores to settle with 
the secular enemy of their name. Five hundred 
Macdonalds — of Glengarry, Keppoch, and Clanranald 
— had flocked to his standard. With them came 
Macleans from Morvern and Mull, Stewarts from 
Appin, Farquharsons from Braemar, and Camerons 
from Lochaber. John of Moidart, the captain of Clan- 
ranald, brought his fierce spirit and devoted following 
to Montrose's side. The middle Highlands, for the 
first time since Harlaw, were united, but it was not 
in the king's service. The hatred of every clansman 
was directed not at the Covenant but at the house of 
Diarmaid. Now was the time to avenge ancient wrongs, 
and to break the pride of a chief who had boasted that 
no mortal enemy could enter his country. The hour 
had come when the fray must be carried to Lorn. 

Montrose had that supreme virtue in a commander 
which recognizes facts. He could not maintain his 
army without war, and Lowland war they would not 
listen to. If he looked to their help in the future he 
must whet their valour and rivet their loyalty by fresh 


successes. In return for their assistance in the king's 
quarrel they must have the help of the king's lieu- 
tenant in their own. Besides, a blow at the Campbells 
in their own country would put fear into the heart of 
the Covenant, and shatter Argyll's not too robust nerve. 
It was a wild venture, but wild ventures have their 
psychological value in war. In a sense it had always 
been Montrose's second line of strategy, for in the 
previous March, we find him writing to Sir Robert 
Spottiswoode from York : " We intend to make all 
possible dispatch to follow him (Argyll) at the heels, 
in whatever position we can." There may have been 
a further reason. The Estates had confiscated his 
lands, and taken captive his friends. Wishart, his 
chaplain, and Lord Ogilvy, his dearest companion, 
were in the Edinburgh Tolbooth ; the ladies of his 
family had been seized and consigned to squalid prisons. 
A blow at the arch-enemy would be some little solace 
to a heart that was only too prone to the human 



(December 1 644-February 1645.) 

In seventeenth-century Scotland the Clan Campbell 
stood by Itself as a separate race, almost a separate 
state, whose politics were determined by the whim of 
its ruling prince. Built upon the ruins of many little 
septs, it excelled in numbers and wealth every other 
Highland clan ; indeed, if we except the Gordons, it 
surpassed all the rest put together. It was near enough 
to the Lowlands to have shared in such civilization as 
was going, including the new theology. On the other 
hand, its territory was a compact block of land, well 
guarded on all sides from its neighbours, so that it 
enjoyed the peace and the self-confidence of a separate 
people. With its immense seacoast its doors were 
open to the wider world, and the Campbell gentry 
acquired at foreign universities and in foreign wars 
the training which few landward gentlemen could boast; 
while Spanish velvets and the silks and wines of France 
came more cheaply and readily to its little towns than 


to the burghers of Perth or Edinburgh. The country, 
though less fertile than the Lowlands, was a champaign 
compared to Lochaber or Kintail. Thousands of black 
cattle flourished on its rich hill pastures, and farms and 
sheilings were thick along the pleasant glens that sloped 
to Loch Fyne and Loch Awe. In the town of Inveraray 
the clan had its natural capital, and from Inveraray ran 
the Lowland road through Cowal and Dumbarton for 
such as preferred a land journey. Compared with other 
clans the Campbells were prosperous and civilized, and 
accordingly they were detested by their neighbours. 
They had eaten up the little peoples of Benderloch 
and Morvern, and their long arm was stretching north 
and east into Lochaber and Perth. Every Maclean and 
Stewart and Macdonald who could see the hills of Lorn 
from his doorstep had uneasy thoughts about his own 
barren acres. The Campbells had a trick of winning 
by bow and spear, and then holding for all time by seal 
and parchment. 

It was not without reason that Argyll boasted that 
his land was impregnable. Strategically it had every 
advantage. On the eastern side, where it looked to 
the Lowlands, there were the castles of Roseneath and 
Dunoon to keep watch and deep sea-lochs to hinder 
the invaders. Besides, the Lowlands and Argyll were 
always at peace. South and west lay the sea, and the 
Campbells had what little navy existed in Scotland at 
the time. The Macleans in Mull were too small and 


broken to take the offensive, and in any case it was a 
long way from the coast at Knapdale to the heart at 
Inveraray. North lay a land of high mountains and 
difficult passes, where no man could travel save by 
permission of the sovereign lord. Moreover, the 
Campbells of Lochow and Glenorchy had flung their 
tentacles over Breadalbane and held the marches around 
the head waters of Tay. There might be a raid of 
Macgregors or Maclarens on the east, or a foray from 
Appin on Loch Etive side, but not even the king and 
his army could get much beyond the gates. " It is a 
far cry to Lochow," so ran the Campbell ower-come, 
and It was a farther one to Inveraray. 

When Montrose assented to Alastalr's wishes he 
resolved to strike straight at the enemy's heart. He 
would wage war not in the outskirts but in the citadel. 
From Blair there was little choice of roads. To go 
due west by Rannoch and the springs of Etive would 
mean a march among friendly clans, but a few score 
Campbells could hold the narrows of Loch Etive or 
the Pass of Brander against the strongest army. The 
Lowland road by Dumbarton and Loch Lomond meant 
a dangerous proximity to the Covenanting westlands 
and the narrow and difficult pass of Glencroe. But 
midway through Breadalbane ran a possible route 
among wild glens and trackless bogs which at this 
winter season would be deep In snow. This was the 
old raiding road out of Lorn, and Argyll flattered 


himself that his clan alone had the keys of it. But 
with Montrose were men who had made many a mid- 
night foray into the Campbell country, and who knew 
every corrie and scaur as well as any son of Diarmaid. 
A Glencoe man, Angus MacAlain Dubh, is named 
by tradition as the chief guide, and he promised 
Montrose that his army could live well on the country, 
" if tight houses, fat cattle, and clear water will suffice." 
Accordingly, with Airlie and the Ogilvys and his eldest 
boy, Lord Graham, as his Lowland staff, the king's 
lieutenant ordered a march to the west. The army 
travelled in three divisions, led respectively by Montrose, 
by Alastair, and by John of Clanranald. 

The road from Blair was the same as that taken in 
the march to Tippermuir. The lands of the Menzieses, 
a small and uncertain clan, were first traversed, and the 
laird of Weem taken prisoner. Then past the shores 
of Loch Tay swept the advance till the confines of 
Breadalbane were reached and a country that owned 
Campbell sway. Up Glen Dochart ^3°) they went, follow- 
ing much the same road as the present railway line to 
Oban, past Crianlarich and Tyndrum and into the glens 
of Orchy. It was a raid of vengeance, and behind them 
rose the flames of burning roof-trees. Presently Loch 
Awe lay before them, under a leaden winter sky, and 
soon the little fortresses of the lochside lairds smoked 
to heaven. It was a bloody business, save that the 
women and children were spared. All fighting men 


were slain or driven to the high hills, every cot and 
clachan was set alight, and droves of maddened cattle 
attested the richness of the land and the profit of the 
invaders. It was Highland warfare of the old barbarous 
type, no worse and no better than that which Argyll 
had already carried to Lochaber and Badenoch and the 
Braes of Angus. 

Argyll was well served by his scouts, and to him at 
Edinburgh word was soon brought of Montrose's march 
to Breadalbane. He must have thought it a crazy 
venture ; now at last was his enemy delivered into his 
hands. No mortal army could cross the winter passes, 
even if it had the key ; and the men of Glenorchy 
would wipe out the starving remnants at their leisure. 
Full of confidence he posted across Scotland to Inveraray. 
There he found that all was quiet. Rumours of the 
foray in Lorn were indeed rife, but the burghers ot 
Inveraray, strong in their generations of peace, had no 
fear for themselves. Argyll saw to the defences of the 
castle, and called a great gathering of the neighbouring 
clansmen to provide reinforcements, if such should 
be needed, for the Glenorchy and Breadalbane men, 
who by this time had assuredly made an end of 

Suddenly came the thunderbolt. Wild-eyed herds 
rushed into the streets with the cry that the Macdonalds 
were upon them. Quickly the tale flew. Montrose was 
not in Breadalbane or on the fringes of Lorn ; he was at 


Loch Awe — nay, he was in the heart of Argyll itself. 
The chief waited no longer. He tound a fishing-boat 
and, the wind being right, fled down Loch Fyne to the 
shelter of his castle of Roseneath. The same breeze 
that filled his sails brought the sound of Alastair's 
pipes, and he was scarcely under way ere the van 
of the invaders came down Glen Shira. 

Then began the harrying of Clan Campbell. Leader- 
less and unprepared they made no resistance to Mon- 
trose's army of flushed and battle - worn warriors. 
Macleans and Macdonalds, Stewarts and Camerons, 
satiated their ancient grudges with the plunder of 
Inveraray. The kerns thawed their half-frozen limbs 
at the warmth of blazing steadings, and appeased their 
ravenous hunger at the expense of the bakers and 
vintners and fleshers of the burgh. Never had the 
broken men of Lochaber and the Isles fared so nobly. 
For some happy weeks they ran riot in what for them 
was a land of milk and honey ; while the townsmen, 
crouching in cellars and thickets, or safe behind the 
castle gates, wondered how long it would be before 
their chief returned to avenge them. There seems 
to have been no special barbarity about the business. 
Here and there a refractory Campbell was dirked, but 
Alastair's men preferred victual and cattle to human 

Meantime word had gone from the exile at Rose- 
neath to the Estates in Edinburgh. William Baillie 


English Miles 

Montroses March ' 


of Letham, the new commander-in-chief, was a natural 
son of Sir William Baillie of Lamington. An old 
soldier of Gustavus, he had done good service at 
Marston Moor and at the siege of Newcastle, and he 
brought to Scotland some of the pick of Leven's 
infantry, which he increased by local levies. He was 
now ordered by the Estates to repair to Roseneath 
and consult with Argyll on the best way of crushing 
Montrose. But at Roseneath he found the exile in a 
difficult humour. There must be no stranger general 
in the Campbell fastness. It was for Argyll, and Argyll 
alone, to avenge the shame of his clan. Accordingly 
the Estates ordered Baillie to transfer to Argyll 1,100 
of his best foot, representing the flower of the Scottish 
militia. Baillie himself was sent to Perth, with Sir 
John Hurry (who was a Royalist a year before and was 
to be a Royalist again) as his second in command. He 
was bidden keep in touch with the Covenanting garrison 
that had been left in Aberdeen and with Seaforth's 
northern army at Inverness. Argyll sent hastily to 
the army in Ireland to summon back his kinsman, 
Sir Duncan Campbell of Auchinbreck, the best soldier 
that the clan could boast. The dislocated shoulder, 
which he had given to the Estates as the reason of his 
flight from Inveraray, was now happily mended. It 
looked as if the Royalists had walked into a certain 
trap. Montrose would be caught between Argyll and 
Seaforth, and if he tried to escape to the right Baillie 

(1,744) 8 


and Hurry would await him. It seemed the certainty 
on which Argyll loved to stake. " If we get not the 
life of these worms chirted out of them," wrote the 
agreeable Mr. Robert Baillie, the general's ministerial 
cousin, " the reproach will stick on us for ever." 

Midwinter that year was open and mild. Had it been 
otherwise Clan Campbell must have been annihilated, 
and Montrose could never have led his men safely out 
of Argyll. About the middle of January ^^o 1645 ^^ 
gave the order for the march. He had as yet no 
news of Argyll's preparations, but he must have realized 
that the avenger would not be slow on his track. His 
immediate intention was to come to an account with 
Seaforth, who not only barred him from the Gordon 
country, but was responsible for the whole opposition 
of the Moray and Speyside gentry and the powerful 
clan of Mackenzie. He had guides who promised to 
show him an easy way out of Lorn into Lochaber, 
whence the road ran straight by the Great Glen to 
Inverness. Laden with miscellaneous plunder and 
cumbered no doubt with spreaghs of cattle, the 
Highlanders crossed from Loch Awe to the shore 
of Loch Etive. Since they had nothing to fear 
in front of them they continued up the steep brink 
of that loch to the site of the present house of 
Glen Etive. Crossing the heailach by the old drove 
road they marched through Appin and up Glencoe 
to the neighbourhood of Corrour. The shorter 


road by Kingshouse and the Moor of Rannoch 
was no place for a heavily-laden force in midwinter. 
From Corrour their route was that now taken by the 
West Highland Railway. Passing Loch Treig, they 
descended the valley of the Spean to the shores of 
Loch Lochy and the opening of the Great Glen. By the 
evening of Thursday, the 30th of January, Montrose 
was at Kilcumin at the head of Loch Ness. Most of the 
AthoU men and the bulk of Clanranald had left him, 
after their custom, to deposit their booty. No more 
than 1,500 remained — Alastair's Irish, a handful of 
Stewarts, Macdonalds, Macleans, and Camerons, and 
sufficient cavalry to mount the Lowland gentry and 
provide an escort for the standard. 

At Kilcumin Montrose had definite news of Seaforth. 
He was thirty miles off at Inverness with 5,000 men — 
Erasers, Mackenzies, and regulars from the Inverness 
garrison ; a disorderly multitude, says Wishart, for, 
apart from the old soldiers of the garrison, it was 
*' newly raised out of husbandmen, cowherds, tavern 
boys, and kitchen boys." Montrose was preparing to 
make short work of Seaforth when he received graver 
tidings. Ian Lorn Macdonald, the bard of Keppoch, 
arrived to tell of Argyll at his heels. The Campbells 
were only thirty miles behind at Inverlochy, 3,000 
men-at-arms eager to avenge the wrongs of Lorn. 
They were burning and harrying Glen Spean and 
Glen Roy and the Lochaber braes, and their object 


was to take Montrose in the rear what time Seaforth 
should hold him in the front. 

At Kilcumin Montrose had prepared a bond to which 
all the chiefs set their names. Such bonds and mani- 
festoes were favourite devices of the general. They 
were his Covenants, the only means by which he could 
advertise to the world the principles for which he 
fought. The signatories swore to fight to the death 
for their sovereign and his legitimate authority against 
"the present perverse and infamous faction of desperate 
rebels now in fury against him," and never to swerve 
from their oath as they " would be reputed famous 
men." The little army had much need of all the 
heartening it could get, for its plight seemed hopeless. 
Fifteen hundred very weary men were caught between 
two forces of 5,000 and 3,000. There was no way of 
escape to west or east, for the one would lead them 
to a bare seacoast and the other into the arms of 
Baillie's foot. Of the two hostile forces the Campbells 
were the more formidable. Montrose knew very well 
that the fighting spirit of Clan Diarmaid was equal to 
any in the Highlands, and, now that they were com- 
manded by a skilled soldier and infuriated by the burning 
of their homes, he could not hope to fight them at 
long odds. But it is the duty of a good general when 
he is confronted by two immediate perils to meet the 
greater first. Montrose resolved to fight the Campbells, 
but to fight them in his own way. 


Early on the morning of Friday, the 31st of January, 
began that flank march which is one of the great exploits 
in the history of British arms/^""^ The little river Tarff 
flows north from the Monadliadh Mountains to Loch 
Ness. Up its rocky course went Montrose, and the 
royal army disappeared into the hills. Scouts of Argyll 
or Seaforth who traversed the Great Glen on that day 
must have reported no enemy. From Tarff Montrose 
crossed the pass to Glen Turritt and following it down- 
wards reached Glen Roy. Pushing on through the 
night he came to the bridge of Roy, where that stream 
enters the Spean, on the morning of Saturday, the ist of 
February. The weather had been icily cold, the upper 
glens were choked with snowdrifts, and the army had 
neither food nor fire. The road led through places 
where great avalanches yawned above the adventurers, 
and over passes so steep and narrow that a hundred 
men could have held an army at bay. As they struggled 
along at the pace of a deerstalker, Montrose walked 
by his men, shaming them to endurance by the spectacle 
of his own courage. 

From Roy Bridge to Inverlochy is some thirteen 
miles. But to take Argyll in the flank a circuit 
was necessary, and Montrose followed the northern 
slopes of the wild tangle of mountains, the highest in 
Britain, that surround Ben Nevis.^33) jj^ ^he ruddy 
gloaming of the February day the vanguard saw be- 
neath and before them the towers of Inverlochy " like 


a scowl on the fringe of the wave," and not a mile off 
the men of Clan Diarmaid making ready their evening 
meal. Shots were exchanged with the pickets, but no 
effort was made to advance. Montrose waited quietly 
in the gathering dusk till by eight o'clock the rest of 
his famished columns had arrived. There, supperless 
and cold, they passed the night, keeping up a desultory 
skirmishing with the Campbell outposts, for Montrose 
was in dread lest Argyll should try to escape. It was 
a full moon, and the dark masses of both armies were 
visible to each other. Argyll thought the force he saw 
only a contingent of Highland raiders under O'Kean 
or Keppoch or some petty chief. But opportunely his 
wounded shoulder began to trouble him, so with his 
favourite minister, an Edinburgh bailie or two, and 
Sir James Rollo, he retired to a boat on Loch Eil. 

At dawn on Candlemas Day his ears were greeted 
by an unwelcome note. It was no bagpipes such as 
Keppoch might use, but trumpets of war, and the salute 
they sounded was that reserved for the royal standard. 
The king's lieutenant, who two days ago was for certain 
at Loch Ness, had by some craft of darkness taken 
wings and flown his army over the winter hills. There 
was no alternative but to fight. Till Montrose was 
beaten the Campbells could neither march forward to 
join Seaforth nor backward to their own land. 

Auchinbreck drew up his forces with the fighting 
men of Clan Campbell in the centre, and the Lowland 


regiments borrowed from Baillie on each wing. Mon- 
trose himself led the Royalist centre, with Alastair on 
the left and O'Kean, who since Fyvie had held high 
command, on the right. Sir Thomas Ogilvy com- 
manded the little troop of horse which had managed 
to make its way with the infantry over the terrible 
hills. This was the one advantage Montrose possessed. 
Otherwise his men were on the point of starvation, 
having had scarcely a mouthful for forty-eight hours. 
He himself and Lord Airlie breakfasted on a little raw 
oatm.eal mixed with cold water which they ate with their 

The battle began with a movement by Ogilvy's horse 
which gravely disquieted the Lowland wings. Then 
the Campbell centre fired a volley, and immediately 
the whole Royalist front responded and charged. We 
may well believe that the firing of famished men was 
wild, but it mattered little, for soon they were come, as 
Montrose wrote, " to push of pike and dint of sword." 
Alastair and O'Kean had little difficulty with the Low- 
land levies. In spite of the experience of many of them 
with Leven, a Highland charge was a new and awful 
thing to them, and they speedily broke and fled. Inver- 
lochy was won by strategy. Of tactics there was little, 
and that little was as elementary as at Tippermuir. The 
gallant Campbell centre, indeed, made a determined 
stand. They knew that they could hope for no mercy 
from their hereditary foes, and they were not forgetful 


of the honourable traditions of their race. But in time 
they also broke. Some rushed into the loch and tried 
in vain to reach the galley of their chief, now fleeing to 
safety ; some fled to the tower of Inverlochy. Most 
scattered along the shore, and on that blue February noon 
there was a fierce slaughter from the mouth of Nevis 
down to the narrows of Loch Leven. The Lowlanders 
were given quarter, but in spite of all his efibrts Montrose 
could win no mercy for the luckless Campbells. The 
green Diarmaid tartan was a badge of death that day. 
On the Royalist side only four perished, but one of 
them was Sir Thomas Ogilvy, who died shortly after 
the battle. On the Covenant side the slain outnumbered 
the whole of Montrose's army. At least fifteen hundred 
fell in the battle and pursuit, and among them were the 
gallant Auchinbreck and forty of the Campbell barons.^^*^ 
Well might Keppoch's bard exult fiercely over the 
issue 1 

" Though the bones of my kindred, unhonoured, unurned, 
Mark the desolate path where the Campbells have burned — 
Be it so ! From that foray they never returned." ''^^s) 

Inverlochy was in one respect a decisive victory. 
It destroyed the clan power of Argyll. From its 
terrible toll the Campbells as a fighting force never 
recovered. Alastair's policy was justified and the 
Macdonalds were amply avenged ; the heather, as 
the phrase went, was above the gale at last, To 


Montrose at the moment it seemed even more. He 
thought that with the galley of Lorn fell also the blue 
flag of the Covenant. He wrote straightway to the 
king, giving him a full account of the fight, and ending 
on a high note of confidence : — ^^^e) 

"Give me leave, in all humility, to assure Your Majesty that, 
through God's blessing, I am in the fairest hopes of reducing this 
kingdom to Your Majesty's obedience. And, if the measures I 
have concerted with your other loyal subjects fail me not, which 
they hardly can, I doubt not before the end of this summer I shall 
be able to come to Your Majesty's assistance with a brave army 
which, backed with the justice of Your Majesty's cause, will make 
the rebels in England, as well as in Scotland, feel the just rewards 
of rebellion. Only give me leave, after I have reduced this 
country to Your Majesty's obedience, and conquered from Dan 
to Beersheba, to say to Your Majesty then, as David's general did 
to his master, ' Come thou thyself, lest this country be called by 
my name.* " 



(February-April 1645.) 

It was not till March that Charles received tidings of 
Inverlochy. By that time he had already rejected the 
proposals of the Treaty of Uxbridge, one of which 
was that Montrose should be exempted from the act 
of oblivion, and the news of the fall of Argyll gave 
him hopes of a diversion in the north. He wrote to 
Montrose telling him that he was sending 500 horse 
under Sir Philip Musgrave, and announcing that he 
himself with his army would make his way to Scot- 
land as soon as possible. It was a scheme of Digby's 
which Cromwell was soon to render abortive. Mean- 
while Inverlochy had a different effect upon the temper 
of the Estates in Edinburgh. Argyll arrived there ten 
days after the battle, with his arm in a sling, to be 
publicly thanked for his services. Baillie and Hurry 
were exhorted to fresh efforts, and further levies were 
made on Leven's army. James Graham, sometime 
Earl of Montrose, was declared an excommunicated 


traitor and his life and his estates forfeited. The 
Kirk, not to be outdone in martial zeal, proposed, 
since it was so hard to lay hold of the chief male- 
factor, to make a beginning with those in its power. 
Did not Crawford and Ogilvy and Wishart lie fast 
in the Tolbooth ? Mr. David Dickson, Mr. Robert 
Blair, Mr. Andrew Cant, Mr. James Guthrie, and Mr. 
Patrick Gillespie attended as a deputation from the 
General Assembly to urge their immediate execution. 
Parliament commended the " zeal and piety " of the 
clergy, but hinted that with Montrose victorious in 
the field it would be well to wait a little before destroy- 
ing his hostages. 

After resting a few days at Inverlochy, Montrose 
marched northward again. Had it been possible, his 
wisest course would have been an immediate descent 
upon the capital. But for Lowland warfare he needed 
cavalry, and cavalry could not be manufactured in 
Lochaber. To get it he must go where alone in the 
north it could be had — among the Gordon gentry. 
He found that the opposition had melted away. 
Having no war chest, he was compelled to provide 
for his forces by fines and requisitions from the 
Covenanting lairds, and where these were not forth- 
coming there was burning and pillage. By the middle 
of February he had entered Elgin with no sign of 
Seaforth, or indeed of any opponent. The Mackenzies 
had disappeared into the fastnesses of Kintail. At 


Elgin, to his joy, he found that recruits began to come 
in. The first was the laird of Grant with 300 men, 
and at the plundering of the houses of certain Coven- 
anting absentees it is said that the new convert showed 
himself highly assiduous. Then came a far greater 
ally, no less than Huntly's son, Lord Gordon, who, 
tired of the ways of his uncle Argyll, rode over from 
the castle of Gight to offer his sword to the king. He 
was accompanied by his brother. Lord Lewis, whom 
we have already seen twice arrayed against Montrose 
at Aberdeen, first with Aboyne and then with Balfour 
of Burleigh, He was still in his teens, a fiery and 
perverse young man, of undoubted gallantry, but of 
an excitable and fantastic mind. With the Gordons, 
as an earnest of Gordon support, came 200 well- 
mounted troopers, a sight to gladden Montrose's 
heart, for cavalry could alone make possible that 
Lowland campaign on which his soul was set. Lord 
Gordon was more than a comrade in arms ; he was 
to prove for the short space of life that remained to 
him Montrose's tenderest and truest friend. Last 
of all came Seaforth to make his peace. He had 
never been much of a Covenanter, but Mackenzie 
and Macdonald could not be expected to see eye to 
eye. Montrose received him cordially, and dispatched 
him to hold his own countryside for the king. At 
Elgin or at Gight, which was the next halting-place 
of the royal army, the bond prepared at Kilcumin 


received further signatures. It is odd to find in the 
document, which is still preserved in the Montrose 
charter - chest, the names of Grant and Seaforth 
beside the scrawls of Alastair, Lochiel, and Clanranald, 
and to remember that, when the latter signed, the 
former were the foes against which the bond was aimed. 

He had now a compact force of 2,000 foot and 
about two hundred horse. The nucleus of the infantry- 
was still Alastair's Irish, who may have numbered from 
a thousand to twelve hundred men. The Lochaber 
and Badenoch clans had probably gone home with 
their booty after Inverlochy, and the rest were the 
remnant of the AthoU levies, chiefly Robertsons, 
the 300 Grants, and small contingents from Moray, 
Nairn, and the Gordons. The cavalry, with the 
exception of the few who had been with Ogilvy, was 
wholly Gordon. Montrose may well have believed 
himself strong enough, what with the hope of further 
Gordon aid, and the certainty of more recruits from 
AthoU, to meet Baillie on equal terms south of the Tay. 

At Gight he suffered a sore bereavement. His 
eldest boy, Lord Graham, now in his sixteenth 
year, had been his father's companion ever since 
William Forrett brought him to Perth after Tipper- 
muir. The swift marches over the winter hills had 
worn him out, and his life was part of the price for 
that miraculous descent at Inverlochy. He died in 
the early days of March, and was buried in the 


neighbouring kirk of Bellie. Shortly after, old Lord 
Airlie fell dangerously sick, and was sent to Huntly's 
castle of Strathbogie with a guard of several hundred 
men, whom the royal army could ill afford. Montrose 
had to lock up his grief in his heart, for there was 
no time to spare for sorrowing. He marched east, 
and by the 9th of March was in the neighbourhood 
of Aberdeen. A deputation of burgesses met him 
at Turriff", and, remembering with regret his last 
visit, he undertook that his Irish should not come 
within eight miles of the city. There, however, a 
grave misfortune befell him. Nathaniel Gordon with 
eighty cavaliers rode into Aberdeen from the camp 
at Kintore on a friendly errand of amusement. Word 
was sent by certain local Covenanters to Hurry, who 
with the Covenanting cavalry was in the Mearns, 
and Sir John made a dash on the city in the evening. 
Such Royalists as he found in the streets were promptly 
cut down, most of the horses were driven off, and 
among the dead was the chief of the Farquharsons, 
one of Montrose's best commanders. Hurry, on his 
way back, took prisoner the new Lord Graham, who 
was with his tutor at Montrose, and carried him to 
Edinburgh. The king's lieutenant waited in Aberdeen 
to bury the dead Farquharson, and on Monday the 
1 8th of March began his southward journey. 

On the 2ist he burned the lands and town of 
Stonehaven, and the outbuildings of Dunnottar 


Castle. Marischal, who like so many Scots nobles 
blew hot and cold in turn, was for the present by- 
way of being a Covenanter, and in the company of 
sixteen ministers watched from his impregnable keep 
the destruction of his lands, finding what comfort he 
could in the consolation of Mr. Andrew Cant that 
the smoke of his barns was "a sweet-smelling incense 
in the nostrils of the Lord." By the end of March 
Montrose was at Fettercairn, with Hurry and his 
600 horse only six miles off. Here he all but made 
an end of Hurry. That general, confident in his 
cavalry, came out to battle near Halkerton Castle, 
and believing that only 200 horse were opposed to 
him charged them gaily. But behind the horse 
Montrose had concealed his best musketeers in the 
den of a burn, and Hurry was received with a fire 
which emptied his saddles and put his cavalry to 
confusion. Then the Royalist horse turned and 
charged, and Hurry fled incontinent across the South 
Esk, never drawing rein till he had covered the 
twenty-four miles to Dundee. Next day the Royal- 
ists occupied Brechin, which was plundered, and the 
town of Montrose, which was spared by the general 
for the sake of old times. Here he heard of the 
advance of a more formidable opponent than Hurry. 
Baillie, with 3,000 of the best and most seasoned 
infantry in Scotland, was blocking the road to the south. 
Montrose hastened to meet him and found him 


in the neighbourhood of Coupar-Angus. But Baillie 
was a cautious commander and he respected his 
enemy. He was determined to fight only on the 
most favourable ground, and he knew that Fabian 
tactics were the likeliest to wear out an army with 
no base, no reserves, and no coherence save the 
personal influence of its leader. The river Isla 
flowed between the two forces, and Montrose dared 
not try to wrest the passage in the face of superior 
strength. So in the true cavalier fashion he sent 
Baillie a challenge, ofi'ering to cross and fight him, 
if the passage were permitted, or to let him cross 
unhindered, if he preferred the other bank. Baillie 
wisely replied that he would fight at his own pleasure, 
and not to suit his adversary's convenience. 

Seeing that it was hopeless to wait longer Montrose 
devised a new plan. He struck camp and marched 
west to Dunkeld, with the intention of descending 
on the Lowlands by another road. At Dunkeld he 
could cross the Tay with safety, and after that he 
had a straight road to the Forth. Baillie could not 
keep up with him, and retired south, as it was 
reported, on his way to Fife. Now was the chance 
for that avalanche from the hills which should sweep 
the Covenanting Lowlands, and gather up with it all 
the disaffected and anti - Covenant elements which 
Montrose believed to be rife in the south of Scotland, 

But at Dunkeld he was to be reminded of the 


Dunnotar Cas 

Carnpaifln of 

Mnrr/i ofMo/itrose /jeforr 
thetohJnij o/'Piirirtre ^i»i»» 


nature of the Highland army which he led. Once 
more his forces began to melt away. The Atholl 
men slipped back to their homes, and so did the 
recent levies from the north of the Grampians. The 
Gordon cavalry, led by Lord Lewis Gordon, began 
to grumble, and though they did not desert yet 
awhile he knew that he could not long count on 
their assistance.^^^^ Presently his troops had shrunk 
so gravely that any attempt on the Lowlands was 
out of the question. 

Something must be done if only to keep his 
remnant together. Twenty-four miles off lay the 
town of Dundee, an ancient stronghold of rebellion 
and the chief base of the Covenant in Angus. To 
read Dundee a lesson might be a profitable employ- 
ment till he saw his way more clearly. He had now 
no infantry but Alastair's Irish. Of these he sent 
the weaker half on to Brechin with the baggage, 
and with 600 foot and 150 horse left Dunkeld at 
midnight on the 3rd of April. By ten next morning 
he was under the walls of Dundee.^^^^ 

Dundee in the year 1645 '^^^ ^ little town, with 
a big kirk and a market-place in the centre, from 
which four or five streets radiated. Though it had 
no garrison at the time it had substantial walls, and 
inside the walled area was a mound called the 
Corbie Hill, long since levelled, on which cannon 
had been set. Montrose sent a trumpeter to summon 

(1,744) ^ 


the citizens to surrender, but after the Covenanting 
fashion the envoy was made prisoner and ultimately 
hanged. Thereupon the assault began. Dundee was 
a strong place, but the walls were being mended in 
one part, and there the Royalists soon made a breach. 
The guns on the Corbie Hill were captured and 
turned against the town, and presently the church 
and the market-place were in the invaders' hands. 
Several houses were set on fire, but pillage rather 
than burning was the order of the day. The booths 
of the merchants were turned inside out, and the 
plenishing of many a well-doing citizen took to the 
streets on Highland backs. Ale and wine were dis- 
covered, and soon many of the assailants, who had 
marched all night without a halt, were in that state 
of bodily and mental ease which Wishart describes 
as " vino paululum incalescentesy^^^^ 

It was now late afternoon, and as Montrose stood 
on the Corbie Hill watching the ongoings in the 
town, his breathless scouts brought him startling news. 
Baillie and Hurry had not crossed the Tay on their 
way to Fife. With 3,000 foot and 800 horse they 
were now within a mile of the west port of Dundee. 
It was as perilous a position as any commander ever 
stood in, and his colonels gave counsels of despair. 
Some urged him to leave his half-drunken troops to 
their fate and save himself, on the plea that another 
army could be found, but not a second Montrose. 


Others of a more heroic temper cried that all was 
lost but honour, and were for dying in a desperate 
charge. Only Montrose kept his head. He was 
determined to escape, not alone, but with his army 
— a determination which, by itself, shows the un- 
equalled courage of the man. Somehow or other, 
and how. Heaven only knows, he beat off his men 
from their plunder — a feat, says Mr. Gardiner, 
" beyond the power of any other commander in 
Europe." Four hundred of his foot he sent on in 
front, and behind them he kept 200 of his best 
musketeers as a support to the horse in the case of 
a stand. Last, as rearguard, went his 150 cavalry. 
As the Royalists rode out of the east gate of the 
town Baillie entered at the west gate, and Hurry's 
van was within a gunshot of Montrose's rear. 

Night had now fallen, but the Covenanters were 
confident of their prey. Hurry followed hard on 
Montrose as he marched east along the seacoast. 
A few miles from Dundee he tried to charge, but 
the picked musketeers among the Royalist horse 
were too much for him. He was driven back, and 
halted, while the king's lieutenant pushed on in the 
direction of Arbroath. Meanwhile Baillie had con- 
ceived a better plan. He knew that Montrose must 
get to the hills as soon as possible, not only for 
safety, but to pick up the men he had sent to await 
him at Brechin. He observed too, that he was 


marching along the arc of a circle, and he resolved 
himself to take the chord. He had made arrange- 
ments for guarding all the hill passes, and hurried 
north-east towards Arbroath to hem his enemy 
between his troops and the sea. 

It was precisely the strategy that Montrose had 
anticipated. At midnight he turned sharp in his 
tracks, marched south-west and then north, and 
quietly slipped round Baillie's forces in the dark. 
By daybreak he was at Careston Castle, a Carnegie 
house on the South Esk, with the friendly hills in 
sight and at hand. Here he had news from Brechin 
that the men who were to meet him there had 
already been given the alarm and had betaken them- 
selves to the mountains. He halted for a little to 
give his weary troops a breathing space. In the 
past thirty-six hours they had marched sixty or 
seventy miles, fought several engagements, and sacked 
a town. When the halt was sounded nearly every 
man dropped to the ground and slept like the dead. 

Meanwhile Baillie at the first light of dawn had 
discovered his mistake. Hurry had rejoined him, 
and Hurry's cavalry were soon hot on the trail of 
the man who had so befooled them. Montrose had 
the alarm in time, but his sleepy soldiers would not 
stir. It looked as if the three miles which still 
intervened before the hills were gained were to be 
three miles too many and the labours of that marvel- 


lous night rendered vain. But the officers managed 
to beat up sufficient troops to make some sort of 
stand, and Hurry's horse were checked. Then with 
a desperate effort the exhausted Royalists struggled 
on the last few miles. Hurry fell back, and by mid- 
day Montrose was safe among the uplands of the 
North Esk. 

The retreat from Dundee, however we look at it, 
remains an astonishing feat of arms. Hurry's cavalry 
were the troops which had done brilliant service under 
Leven, and Baillie's foot were the finest regular soldiers 
that Scotland could show. Man for man the Gordon 
horse, sulky and mutinous as they already were, could 
not compare with them. The Irish were, of course, 
tried veterans, and superior to any of the Covenant 
infantry. But Montrose's men were at the best dog- 
tired, and at the worst half-drunk and laden with their 
precious plunder. The general who could stop the 
sack of a town in a few minutes was a superb leader 
of men, and he who could execute such a flight was 
a consummate strategist. "Which," writes Wishart, 
" whether foreign nations or after times will believe 
1 cannot tell, but I am sure I deliver nothing but 
what is most certain of my own knowledge. And 
truly, amongst expert soldiers, and those of eminent 
note both in England, Germany, and France, I have 
not seldom heard this expedition of his preferred 
before Montrose's greatest victories." ^"^"^ 



(April-May 1645.) 

The letter written by the king in March, promising 
a troop of horse and holding out hopes of his own 
coming to Scotland, was carried by a gentleman of 
the name of Small, and found Montrose somewhere 
among the Grampians, On his way back to the royal 
camp the messenger was captured by the Covenanters 
and shortly afterwards hanged in Edinburgh. From 
the documents in his possession his captors got their 
first news of the king's intention, and fell into a panic. 
They disseminated wild reports of the flight from 
Dundee, declaring, in order to allay popular fears, that 
only a few Royalists had escaped to the mountains. 
But Argyll could not deceive himself, and he knew 
that the coming north of the king, with Montrose 
unbeaten in the field, meant that he and his ambitions 
would be caught between two fires. He communi- 
cated his anxiety to the generals, and for the first time 
Covenanting strategy begins to show some intelligence. 


The credit probably belongs to Hurry, for Baillie, 
though a competent enough soldier, never showed any 
strategic ability. The Covenant army was divided. 
Instead of pursuing the evasive enemy in one cumbrous 
whole, it was resolved to try to hold him between two 
separate forces operating from different bases. Recruit- 
ing in the Lowlands was pushed on, and cadets of 
Lothian and Border families joined the Covenanting 
standard. It was believed that north of the Grampians 
also large forces could be raised, and Hurry, borrowing 
1,200 foot from Baillie and keeping 160 of his horse, 
hastened north to pick up these levies and to form the 
upper millstone for the projected grinding of Montrose. 
Baillie with 2,000 foot and 500 horse settled himself 
in the neighbourhood of Perth. 

For Montrose there was once more the weary task 
of finding an army. Lord Gordon was dispatched to 
Strathbogie to try to raise Gordon troopers in place 
of those who had gone off with his petulant brother. 
Alastair departed west into the Macdonald country to 
whip up those of his clan who had left after Inverlochy. 
Black Pate of Inchbrakie went into Atholl to organize 
the Robertsons and Stewarts. Montrose himself had 
to wait the result of these missions before he could 
again take the field. But for him waiting was never 
inaction. He resolved to investigate the state of affairs 
on the Highland line and to keep Baillie out of 
mischief. He also wished to gather to his standard 


one or two gentlemen of his kin who had been hiding 
in Menteith, and he may have had hopes of pushing 
south to get some news from the Royalists across 
the Border. He wrote to the king, and his letter 
reached Oxford on the loth of May. In it he spoke no 
longer of leading an army into England, for he had 
no army to lead. The most he could do was to keep 
the Covenant busy in Scotland. 

About the i6th of April, with 500 foot and 50 
horse, he swept down upon Perth. He halted for 
the night at the village of Crieff, twelve miles from 
Baillie's camp. The Covenanting general, as soon 
as he got the news, set off in the night to surprise 
him, and at dawn on the 17th found the little army 
drawn up for battle. A glance convinced Montrose 
that the odds were too great even for him, so, with 
his horse fighting a rearguard action, he retreated up 
the Earn valley past Comrie, and by the evening 
was safe from pursuit at the head of Loch Earn. 
Next day he turned south by Balquhidder into the 
heart of the Trossachs. Here, on the 20th, he fell 
in with a welcome ally, no less than Aboyne, Huntly's 
second son, who had escaped from Carlisle and with 
difficulty made his way across the Lowlands. He 
found other friends, too, for at Loch Katrine he met 
his nephew, the Master of Napier, and a son of the 
Earl of Stirling, who had eluded the Covenant's vigi- 
lance/'*'^ Montrose had more than his share of family 


affection, and the kinsmen, says Spalding, "were all 
joyful of each other." 

Here he had news which put an end to his southern 
wanderings. Baillle was busy burning In Atholl, and 
Hurry, now north of the Grampians, was bidding 
fair to destroy Lord Gordon and his slender force. 
Montrose retraced his steps by one of those lightning 
marches which were the despair of his opponents and 
a confusion to the chroniclers of his day. He could 
not fight Baillle as he was, and to meet Hurry he must 
first find his Gordons. He crossed from Loch Earn 
by Glenogle to Loch Tay, then across the shoulder 
of Schlehallion Into Atholl, and over the mountains 
to Mar. The Dee was forded near Balmoral, and 
by the end of the month he was at Skene, on lower 
Deeslde.^"*^^ Somewhere on the road Alastair joined 
him, and at Skene he found Lord Gordon with a body 
of Gordon cavalry. His little force was badly off for 
ammunition, so Aboyne undertook an expedition to 
Aberdeen for the purpose of supplies. With eighty 
horse the young soldier seized the town, found twenty 
barrels of gunpowder In two vessels lying in the 
harbour, and brought back the loot to headquarters 
the same evening. Whatever the faults of the Gordon 
blood it had no lack of fire and speed. 

Montrose's force was now a little over two thousand 
foot and some two hundred and fifty horse. Hurry 
meanwhile had not been idle in the north. The 


Covenanters of Moray and Elgin had risen readily 
at his call. Seaforth had recanted his lately-acquired 
loyalty and brought the Mackenzies to his side. 
Sutherland was hastening to his support with his 
clansmen, and Lord Findlater was bringing the men 
of Easter Ross. The local gentry who hated the 
Gordon name — Erasers, Forbeses, Roses, Inneses, 
Crichtons — brought their swords to his standard. 
He had under him two regular regiments, Loudoun's 
and Lothian's, seasoned in the English wars, and 
Campbell of Lawers led his clan to avenge Inverlochy. 
Altogether he had in being or in expectation a force 
of at least three thousand four hundred foot, and not 
less than four hundred horse. While Montrose lay 
on the Dee, Hurry was on Speyside with the road 
to Strathbogie open before him. It was a vital matter 
for Montrose to keep the Gordons in good humour, 
and for this purpose their lands must be protected. 
So he hastened from Skene by way of the Upper Don 
to give battle with all speed to the enemy. 

Hurry was a strategist of no mean order, as the 
campaign was to prove. He fell back for two reasons. 
First, he wished to draw Montrose out of the friendly 
hills and the Gordon country, and secondly, he had 
still to receive some of the promised forces of Seaforth 
and Sutherland. From Elgin to Forres he drew the 
Royalists on, keeping only a little way ahead, but far 
enough to prevent Montrose doing him harm. The ruse 


succeeded. By the evening of the 8th of May Montrose 
had reached the little village of Auldearn on the ridge 
of high ground between the valleys of the Findhorn 
and the Nairn. He believed Hurry to be retreating 
on Inverness, and meant to follow him there the next 
day. It was a drizzling evening, and the neighbour- 
hood was Covenanting to a man, loving not the 
Gordons or the Highlanders, and least of all Alastair's 
Irish, whom they remembered after Inverlochy. No 
news of the enemy was likely to be got there. 
Montrose pitched his camp, posted his pickets care- 
fully, as was his custom, and settled down for the 

The position needs an exact understanding if we are 
to appreciate the events that followed. The hamlet 
of straggling cottages ran north and south along a low 
ridge. Below the houses to the west were the gardens 
and pigstyes of the villagers, fenced with rough stone 
walls, and beyond them lay a flattish piece of ground 
covered with wildwood which sloped to a marshy burn. 
North of this bog was firm land, and south stood a bare 
hillock, now called Deadman's Wood and planted with 
trees. The burn, which caused the bog in front of the 
village, curved round to the south and protected the 
ridge on that side. The position was therefore in the 
shape of a horseshoe, if we take the rim for the firmer 
and higher ground. In the middle of the curve stood 
the village, and enclosed between the points were the 


bog and the rough land which sloped from the gardens 
and pigstyes. 

Sometime during the night of the 8th Hurry turned 
to strike. It was a moonless night with a drenching 
rain, and the Royalist sentries were not inclined to 
go too far into the darkness. But Hurry gave notice 
of his approach, for his men, finding the powder in 
their muskets damp, fired them off to clear them. They 
were then five or six miles distant, but the quick ear 
of Alastair's sentinels caught the sound, and Montrose 
guessed at once what was afoot. A wet misty dawn 
was breaking when he drew up his line of battle. He 
placed Alastair with his Irish at the north end of the 
ridge beyond the village, and into their charge he gave 
the royal standard, in order that Hurry might believe 
the king's lieutenant there in person and deliver there 
his chief attack. He boldly denied himself a centre, 
and instead scattered a few men in front of the cottages, 
with instructions to keep up a continuous firing that 
the enemy might think the village strongly held. This 
was the place for his cannon if he had had any, but 
during the rapid marches of the past eight months he 
had not had time to recover the guns he had buried 
after Aberdeen. The rest of his infantry and all his 
cavalry he kept at the south end of the village, con- 
cealed behind the crown of the ridije. It was a brilliant 
disposition, made at the shortest notice in the half-light 
of morning. If Hurry attacked Alastair under the 

^ Boath Ifouse 

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Montr-ose ■■ 
Hurry CZD 

Scattered Troops « • ♦ 
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impression that he was Montrose, he would have 
difficulty with his cavalry among the village gardens, 
while Montrose at the right moment would be free 
to swing round his horse from their cover behind the 
ridge and take him unprepared on his right flank. 

There was only one mistake in the calculation. 
Alastair was undermanned. He can have had no 
more than five hundred men, all infantry, to oppose 
the attack of 3,400 foot and 400 horse. If we re- 
member that the musketeers of those days were con- 
sidered to be unable to face cavalry unless drawn up 
behind hedges or palisades, we get some notion of the 
desperate odds. They were increased by Alastair's 
own impetuous conduct. He was never the man to 
await an onset, and while Hurry's army was struggling 
through the marshy burn he sacrificed the advantage 
of his higher ground and rushed to meet them. Eight 
to one is odds reserved to the champions of fairy tales. 
"Why, how the devil," asks Major Bellenden in 
Old {Mortality^ " can you believe that Artamines or 
what d'ye call him fought single-handed with a whole 
battalion ? One to three is as great odds as ever fought 
and won, and I never knew any one who cared to 
take that, except old Corporal Raddlebanes." But 
Alastair's deeds were worthy of the Ossianic heroes, 
and it is not hard to understand how in Highland 
legend his fame is made to outshine Montrose's. He 
and his Irish conducted themselves like the fierce 


warriors of the Sagas. He was forced back, fighting 
desperately, into the nest of enclosures in front of the 
village. Like Ajax by the ships he himself was the 
last to retreat. His targe was full of pikes, but he 
swung his great broadsword round and cut off their 
heads like cabbage stalks. He broke his blade, but 
got another from a dying comrade. Again and again 
he rushed out to help his stragglers to enter. One 
of his men, Ranald MacKinnon of Mull, fought sword- 
less against a dozen pikemen with an arrow through 
both cheeks and no weapon but his shield. So raged 
this Thermopylae among the pigstyes, and every second 
Alastair's case grew more desperate. 

Montrose, from the crest of the hill, saw what was 
happening, and resolved that the time was come for 
his master-stroke. The Gordons were still behind the 
ridge, and could see nothing of the fight in the village. 
They were not seasoned troops, and it was essential 
that they should go into action in high heart. So 
Montrose cried to Lord Gordon, their leader, — 
" Macdonald drives all before him. Is his clan to 
have all the honour this day .? Are there to be no 
laurels for the house of Huntly .? " It was the word 
to fire their hearts. Moreover, they had a grim wrong 
to avenge. They had not forgotten the death of 
Donald Farquharson in Aberdeen, and a few days before 
young Gordon of Rynie, a mere boy, who had been 
wounded and left behind in a cottage, had been brutally 


murdered by two of Hurry's lieutenants. With the 
cry on their lips, " Remember Donald Farquharson 
and James of Rynie," the men of Strathbogie wheeled 
to the charge. 

It was the first time that Montrose had used shock 
tactics. Hitherto his horse had been so few that he 
had been compelled to employ them after the old 
fashion of the Thirty Years' War, more like mounted 
infantry, who first fired their pistols and then charged. 
But he had not forgotten the new tactics which Rupert 
had introduced at Edgehill, and which in Cromwell's 
hands had given his Ironsides the victory at Marston 
Moor.^'*3) Now was the time for the arme blanche. 
Montrose had that high gift in war which can adapt 
its means not only to its ends but to its material. He 
could make his cavalry play a waiting game, with 
musketeers interspersed, when he was too weak to use 
it otherwise ; but when the chance came he could use 
it as cavalry should be used, with all the dash and fury 
of a Murat, and with more than the skill of a Rupert. 
He must rank with Cromwell as the greatest cavalry 
leader of his day. 

Hurry, happy in the belief that he was driving 
Montrose to his death in the village, was suddenly 
assailed on his right flank by the cry of " Strathbogie." 
His horse, having had a difficult time crossing the bog, 
were in no mood to stand the assault of fresh cavalry 
with the impetus of the slope in their favour. The 


2CX) sent the 400 flying with many empty saddles. 
Lord Gordon with half his force followed in pursuit, 
and Aboyne with the rest attacked the now defenceless 
flank of Hurry's infantry. The Covenant regiments 
went down like ninepins. The 1,200 of Baillie's foot 
that Hurry had borrowed died almost to a man. Then, 
following Aboyne, Montrose led the rest of his infantry 
against the same right wing. Meanwhile among the 
pigstyes Alastair collected his men for a last effort. 
He had lost seventeen of his best officers, but the 
royal standard was safe, and with his blood-stained 
remnant he charged Hurry's reeling centre. It was 
the last straw needed to turn the balance. The Cove- 
nanting army became a mob, and the mob a shambles. 
The blood of Ulster and the Isles that day had recovered 
its ancient berserk fury, and the Gordons were in no 
mood to spare their foes. Donald Farquharson and 
James of Rynie did not go unattended to the shades. 

For fourteen miles the pursuit continued. Of the 
Ulstermen who had held the village at least one 
hundred must have fallen, and almost all the rest were 
wounded, but otherwise the Royalists had suffered 
little. It was very different with the Covenanters. 
The estimates of their dead vary, but the number 
cannot be less than two thousand. Mungo Campbell 
of Lawers, whose regiment had fought in the centre 
against Alastair, perished with all his men. There 
fell, too, many of the best of the Lowland officers. 


such as Sir John Murray of Philiphaugh. The northern 
earls, with the poor fragments of their clans, fled to 
Inverness, and Seaforth in the wilds of Kintail had 
leisure to reflect on the rewards of the forsworn. 
Hurry himself, with a remnant of one hundred horse, 
escaped to Baillie.^'*''^ 

Auldearn is in its way the most interesting, as it is 
tactically the most brilliant, of Montrose's battles. It 
was the first time he had commanded a reasonable force 
of cavalry, and the first time that he had been the 
attacked instead of the attacker. Hurry had shown 
much strategic ability, and attempted with no little 
skill to meet him with his own methods of surprise. 
It is rare in the history of war that a man who can 
devise lightning raids shows an equal coolness and skill 
in a battle where he stands on the defensive. But the 
dispositions made within a few minutes on that wet 
May morning could not have been bettered though 
they had been the result of days of preparation. 
Montrose showed a genius for war, which in its way 
was as sure and undeniable as Napoleon's, and, curiously 
enough, Auldearn was in miniature an anticipation of 
the tactics of Austerlitz. 

(1,744) 10 



(May-July 1645.) 

The news of Auldearn had its influence on the English 
war. Leven in Yorkshire, already aware of the king's 
plan of marching to join Montrose, was summoned by 
Lord Fairfax to support Brereton at Manchester, who 
had been driven out of Cheshire by Charles's advance 
from Droitwich. He announced his coming, but added 
that he meant to travel by way of Westmorland, as 
that route was easiest for his guns. His reasons for 
this circuit are clear. He wished his army to cover the 
road to Scotland, for he feared that at any moment the 
king might go north and Montrose come south, and he 
knew that their meeting in the Lowlands would mean 
the end of his Covenanting masters. The Estates in 
Edinburgh were no less concerned, and their first step 
was revenge. The old Lord Napier, now a man of 
seventy, whose only offence was that he was Montrose's 
brother-in-law, was heavily fined and shut up in 

ALFORD. 147 

Edinburgh Castle. The young Master had escaped, 
and was with his uncle ; but his wife, his sister, and his 
brother-in-law, Stirling of Keir, shared the father's fate. 
Lord Graham was also imprisoned, and his younger 
brother, Lord Robert, a boy of seven, was by an order 
of the Estates committed to the charge of Montrose's 
wife. It is one of the few glimpses we get of this lady 
in history. Apparently she had made her peace with 
the Covenant through her own family, for Southesk 
and his son Carnegie were of the type which values 
property and a quiet life above any barren renown. 

Montrose had now won four notable battles, but it 
was still as difficult as ever — in Bishop Burnet's phrase 
— to " fix his conquests." Hurry's army was gone, but 
Baillie's remained, and Baillie blocked the way to the 
Lowlands. He had 2,000 foot and several hundred 
horse, and, burning his way through Atholl, had by 
the beginning of May crossed the Dee and entered 
Strathbogie. As a reserve to his force Montrose's old 
friend, Lord Lindsay of the Byres, who had been given 
the earldom of Crawford by the Parliament, was com- 
manding a newly raised army on the borders of Perth 
and Angus. Lindsay fancied himself a military genius, 
and, having trenchantly criticized Argyll's performances, 
had persuaded the Committee to try him in high 
command. He seems to have had the ear of Parlia- 
ment, for on their own order Baillie was presently 
compelled to lend him more than a thousand of his 


veterans, and accept in exchange four hundred of 
Lindsay's raw Lowland levies/*^) 

After Auldearn Montrose marched first to Elgin, 
where he halted for a time to rest his weary troops and 
look after the wounded. As usual, many of the High- 
landers went home, but he still kept his Irishry and 
the Gordon horse. He marched into Strathbogie to 
draw Baillie, and proceeded to out-mancEuvre him up 
and down the valley of the Spey. He had no desire 
to fight until he had recruited his force, for after such 
a battle as Auldearn there was need of a breathing- 
space. From Strathbogie he retired to Balvenie, and then 
to Glenlivat, where Baillie lost all trace of his quarry. 
He found him again at Abernethy-on-Spey, and 
presently Montrose was on the outskirts of Badenoch — 
" a very strait country," says Baillie, and one by no 
means pleasant to fight in. Here the two opponents 
halted and looked at each other. Montrose with his 
Highlanders could draw supplies from the countryside, 
but Baillie could only starve. The thing was very soon 
past bearing, so the Covenanters marched back to 
Inverness to lay in provisions. 

The road was now open to deal with Lindsay, who 
was waiting in Atholl to prove his boasted generalship. 
The news of Montrose's coming sent him back in 
hot haste to Newtyle in Angus to be nearer his 
base. Montrose sped down the upper glens of Dee, 
through Glen Muick, and down the headwaters of 




orres % ' 





traihboqie , 



' Alford 






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V >\\ Careston-B'"echin 

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Montrose's Alarc/i « 

ALFORD. 149 

the South Esk. But when he was within nine miles 
of Lindsay, and that unfortunate general was already 
repenting his bold words, a message arrived from the 
north to spoil all his plans. Huntly had summoned 
his clan back to Strathbogie. The reason of this 
conduct we do not know. The natural explanation is 
that the chief of the Gordons took the opportunity of 
showing his jealousy of Montrose and paying back old 
scores. So Lord Gordon interpreted it, and was with 
difficulty restrained from dealing summarily with those 
of his clan who proposed to obey his father's commands. 
But it is at least as probable that Huntly, with Baillie 
in the neighbourhood, was anxious to protect his own 
possessions. Montrose saw nothing for it but to turn 
back and recruit again. He might have fought Lindsay 
without cavalry and with a much inferior force — he 
had taken risks as great before ; but on this occasion 
there was a strong reason for retiring. To defeat 
Lindsay would not advance the main strategy of his 
campaign one step. He would still have to go back 
and settle with Baillie, and he would still have to 
collect an army for the Lowland war. It seemed 
wiser to do these necessary things first, and to leave 
Lindsay to be dealt with later — or, more likely, to fall 
a victim to the endless Covenanting bickerings. 

Montrose went back the road he had come by the 
Spital of Glenshee, crossed the Dee, and settled himself 
at Corgarff Castle, at the head of Strathdon. Here he 


was in a strong position — both to retreat, if necessary, 
to the high hills, or to sweep down on the Aberdeen- 
shire lowlands. He sent off Alastair once more to 
collect the Clan Donald, while Lord Gordon and Nath- 
aniel Gordon departed to recruit the men of their name. 
In this way the time passed till the last days of June. 
Baillie was meanwhile in the receipt of the daily and 
most vexatious instructions of the warlike Committee of 
Estates. This body, with tried warriors such as Argyll, 
Elcho, and Balfour of Burleigh among its members, 
was resolved to confide nothing to Baillie's unaided 
judgment. They were represented at the front by a 
branch committee, who interpreted their resolutions, 
and must have driven the unfortunate commander to 
the verge of madness. One of their performances was 
the transfer of the flower of Baillie's foot to Lindsay, 
who employed them in futile raiding in Atholl. The 
Providence which does not suffer fools gladly was 
preparing for them their reward. 

In the last days of June, Baillie, having ravaged the 
Gordon lands, laid siege to Huntly's castle in the Bog 
of Gight. The great keep, well defended by Gordon 
of Buckie, resisted all his efforts, but the position 
seemed to call for Montrose's aid, more especially as 
Lord Gordon had now returned with some two hundred 
and fifty troopers. As he advanced he heard of the 
transfer which Baillie had been compelled to make to 
Lindsay, and he may have guessed at the tyranny of 

ALFORD. 151 

the peripatetic Committee. He found the Covenanters 
at Keith on the Deveron, drawn up on high ground, 
with a gap in front of them strongly held by horse and 
commanded by artillery. The Royalists skirmished in 
front of the gap and endeavoured to draw the enemy, 
but Baillie was far too wise to move. Next morning 
Montrose sent him a challenge by a trumpeter, inviting 
the honour of an encounter in the levels ; and Baillie 
replied that he was not in the habit of taking his 
marching orders from the enemy. Montrose accord- 
ingly broke up his camp and returned southward to 
Strathdon. He argued that Baillie might be induced 
to follow if he saw his enemy marching away from the 
Gordon country in the direction of the Lowlands. It 
was a ruse which Hurry had tried successfully before 

He was right in his guess, for Baillie had heard 
further news which cheered his spirits. Alastair and 
most of the Irish were absent from the royal standard. 
The stand at Auldearn had put the fear of Ulster into 
the hearts of the Lowland foot, and as the word sped 
through the ranks that the terrible Alastair was gone 
the courage of the Covenanters rose. With all speed 
they marched south after the enemy, and early on the 
morning of the 2nd of July came up with him at Alford. 
Montrose had crossed the Don, and drawn up his men 
in a good position on a hill. But, as at Auldearn, he 
had stationed a large number of them behind the ridge, 


so that to an adversary across the river they seemed an 
inconsiderable force. The upper Don, which in these 
days of surface drainage is a shallow and easily crossed 
stream in the month of July, was then a far more 
formidable river, with long stretches of bog along its 
banks. There was one good ford at Alford, and it was 
Montrose's intention that Baillie should cross there. 
For if he did he had some marshy levels to traverse 
before he could reach the glacis of Montrose's position, 
and a defeat would put his army in grave jeopardy with 
a bog and the river behind them. 

Baillie walked into the trap ; not of his own will, but 
urged by his precious Committee and by Balcarres, his 
master of horse, who trusted to the superiority of his 
cavalry. It is not easy to be certain of the numbers 
on both sides. Lindsay's drafts had reduced Baillie to 
1,200 foot, but that number must have been increased 
by levies among the northern counties. Montrose's 
infantry after Alastair's departure must have fallen well 
below two thousand, so it is probable that in foot the 
two forces ^ere nearly equal. The Gordon cavalry 
numbered about two hundred and fifty, and Baillie 
cannot have had less than from four hundred to five 
hundred. One advantage Montrose possessed. He 
had early notice of the enemy's coming, and had 
time to draw up his men in an advantageous forma- 
tion. His dispositions were very different from 
Auldearn. The horse were placed on each wing, and 




Sca/e of iliiJfaMile 


ALFORD. 153 

strengthened by divisions of the Irish foot. On the 
right Lord Gordon commanded, with Nathaniel Gordon 
in charge of the foot. Aboyne led the horse on the 
left, with the Irish under Colonel O'Kean. The centre, 
drawn up in files of six deep, was composed of 
Badenoch Highlanders, the Farquharsons, and some of 
Huntly's Lowland tenants, and was under the charge 
of Drummond of Balloch and Macdonnell of Glengarry. 
The reserve of foot concealed behind the ridge was 
commanded by the Master of Napier. 

The Covenanting Committee had ordered Baillie, as 
soon as the Don was crossed, to charge the enemy's 
position. Montrose, however, anticipated him. Baillie 
had brought along with him herds of cattle which he 
had driven from Huntly's lands, and the sight of his 
father's beasts penned up in an enclosure behind the 
Covenanting camp infuriated the young Lord Gordon. 
He swore to drag Baillie by the throat from the centre 
of his bodyguard. Accordingly, he led his horse to the 
charge on the Royalist right with the same fury that 
had avenged James of Rynie at Auldearn. The Cove- 
nanting left broke under the onset, but Balcarres was 
a gallant soldier who did not easily yield. He managed 
to rally his three squadrons of horse, and for a little a 
fierce and well-matched cavalry battle raged on the edge 
of the bog. It would appear that during this struggle 
the remainder of both armies stood still and watched. 

It was Nathaniel Gordon who turned the tide. He 


led the Irish foot on the right wing to the support of 
the horse, and he conceived a better way of support 
than by firing into the mass, where they were in grave 
danger of wounding their own side. He cried to his 
men to fling down their muskets, draw their swords, 
and stab and hough Balcarres's horse. The cruel device 
succeeded. The Covenant troopers broke and fled, 
and the Gordons turned their swords, as at Auldearn, 
against the unprotected left flank of Baillie's infantry. 
Meanwhile Aboyne with his horse had at length 
charged on the left, and O'Kean's Irish followed. 
The two Royalist wings closed in on the Covenant 
centre, and against it also Glengarry led the Gordon 
foot. The turn of the battle had arrived. Baillie's 
famous infantry were enclosed and cut down in files. 
It needed only the advance of the Master of Napier 
with his reserves to turn the defeat of the Covenant 
into a rout. The very camp-boys in the Royalist 
army mounted the baggage-ponies and took their share 
in the confusion. Baillie and Balcarres with their horse 
escaped by the skin of their teeth. The Lowland foot 
remained to die on the field. ^'♦^^ 

The slaughter on the Covenant side fell little short 
of Auldearn. The Royalists, considering how desperate 
was the cavalry battle, lost curiously few ofl'icers or 
men. But they sustained one loss which made the 
victory little better than a defeat. Lord Gordon, 
determined tc avenge the theft of his father's cattle. 

ALFORD. 155 

charged the retreating horse once too often. His aim 
was to capture Baillie, and he was actually seizing that 
general by the sword-belt when he was shot dead from 
behind by a musketeer concealed among the cattle- 
pens. His death threw the Royalist army, more 
especially Montrose and the Gordons, into transports of 
grief. He had been the young Marcellus of the cause, 
the one hope of the north. Aboyne stopped his pursuit 
of Balcarres, and — in Wishart's words — " forgetting 
their victory and the spoil, they fixed their eyes upon 
the lifeless body, kissed his face and hands, commended 
the singular beauty of the corpse, compared the nobility 
of his descent and the plentifulness of his fortune with 
the hopefulness of his parts, and counted that an un- 
fortunate victory that had stood them in so much." 
It was a sorrowful band that, led by Montrose, took 
its way slowly to Aberdeen, where the young lord was 
laid in the Gordons' aisle of the old church of St. 
Machar. He was only twenty-eight years of age, and 
had spent his short span of life cleanly and chivalrously 
in the service of his country. To Montrose the loss 
was irreparable, for Lord Gordon was the one man who 
in temper and attainments was fitted to be his compan- 
ion. Patrick Gordon, a clansman, describes this noble 
friendship-in-arms in words which deserve quotation : — 

" Never two of so short acquaintance did ever love more dearly. 
There seemed to be a harmonious sympathy in their natural 


disposition, so much were they delighted in a mutual conversation. 
And in this the Lord Gordon seemed to go beyond the limits 
which nature had allowed for his carriage in civil conversation. 
So real was his affection, and so great the estimation he had of 
the other, that, when they fell into any familiar discourse, it was 
often remarked that the ordinary air of his countenance was 
changed, from a serious listening to a certain ravishment or 
admiration of the other's witty expressions. And he was often 
heard in public to speak sincerely, and confirm it with oaths, that 
if the fortune of the present war should prove at any time so 
dismal that Montrose for safety should be forced to fly unto the 
mountains, without any army or any one to assist him, he would 
live with him as an outlaw, and would prove as faithful a consort 
to drive away his malour, as he was then a helper to the advance- 
ment of his fortune." 

The armies of Baillie and Hurry had ceased to exist. 
To be sure there was still Lindsay, but he was hardly 
to be taken seriously. The news of Alford roused the 
drooping spirits of Charles. " It is certain," Digby 
wrote, " that the king's enemies have not any man in 
the field now in Scotland." ^^^^ He had need of heart- 
ening, for the king's cause, whether he realized it or 
not, had suffered its death-blow. Shortly after Alford 
Montrose received news — perhaps from his friend 
Thomas Saintserf, who, disguised as a packman, 
travelled between his camp and the Border ^""^^ — of a crush- 
ing disaster in England. On the 14th of June at Naseby 
Cromwell's " company of poor ignorant men " ^♦9) had 
scattered Rupert's chivalry and annihilated the royal 

ALFORD. 157 

foot. The battle had two vital consequences for 
Scotland. It was Cromwell's first clear personal 
triumph, and it enabled him to press on his policy 
of religious toleration which was sooner or later to 
destroy the tyranny of the Covenant/^") On the other 
hand, it put an end to the danger of Charles's advance 
to the north, and Leven was able to withdraw his army 
from Westmorland and march in his leisurely way 
south to the siege of Hereford, very anxious lest the 
slaughter of the Irish women after Naseby should be 
made a precedent by the Malignants for reprisals on 
the immense female concourse which accompanied the 
Scots.^^'^ On the 28th of June Carlisle after a heroic de- 
fence capitulated to David Leslie, and thereby released for 
service elsewhere a veteran force of horse and foot and 
a general who had none of Leven's timidity. If the 
royal standard was still to fly in Britain, it was high 
time that Montrose crossed the Border. 



(July-August 1645.) 

The Covenant made one last effort to ride the storm. 
The plague had broken out in Edinburgh, so Parlia- 
ment was compelled to move to Stirling on the 8th of 
July. Stirling, however, proved no refuge, and the seat 
of government was transferred to Perth. Orders were 
issued to call out the nobles and gentry of the Low- 
lands, and to levy in the same district a force of 8,800 
foot and 485 horse. Baillie had brought back no 
infantry from his campaign, but he had saved a respect- 
able contingent of horse, probably at least 400 strong. 
The new force was appointed to assemble at Perth on 
the 24th of July, and was raised mainly in the Perthshire 
lowlands, Stirling, and Fife. Baillie had returned in 
no very good temper and had resigned his office ; but 
Parliament passed a vote of thanks to him for his 
services, and insisted on his taking command of the 
new army. For his comfort it appointed the usual 
Committee "to advise," a phrase which, as Baillie 


well knew, meant to dictate. The members were 
Argyll, Elcho, Tullibardine, Balcarres, Balfour of 
Burleigh, and Lindsay — experts in their way, for 
Montrose had beaten all of them except Lindsay, 
whom, says Mark Napier, he had as yet only scared. 

Alford was fought on the Royalist side wanting 
Alastair and most of his Irish, the western clans, and 
the AthoU men. For the final assault on the Low-i 
lands it was necessary to collect all available forces. 
This meant some weeks of waiting at the shortest, 
and Aboyne was dispatched into Strathbogie to enlist 
troopers. He made little speed, either because the 
Gordons were disinclined to fight south of the High- 
land line, or because he was a poor recruiting sergeant, 
and Montrose had to send him back to try again. 
Aboyne is a difficult figure to decipher on the page of 
history. He was gallant and loyal, and fairly capable ; 
but he had much of the intractable and suspicious 
temper of his brother Lewis and his father Huntly. 
The fine flower of the Gordon race had gone with the 
young lord. Montrose waited for a few days at 
Craigton ^^'^ on the Dee in the Irvine country, till the 
news of the muster and the session of Parliament at 
Perth decided him to go south. It was an excellent 
chance to strike at the heart of the opposition. 

He marched across Don and Dee to Fordoun in 
the Mearns, where he waited to receive his expected 
allies. They arrived in good lorce. Alastair brought 


the rest of his Irish and a body of Highlanders some 
fifteen hundred strong. Among them came the ever 
faithful Macdonalds of Clanranald and Macdonnells 
of Glengarry, and no less than seven hundred Macleans 
from Mull, under their chiefs, Lochbuie and Sir 
Lachlan of Duart. This warrior clan as a fighting 
force was second only to the Ulstermen. There were 
also Macphersons from Badenoch, Farquharsons from 
Braemar, and Macnabs and Macgregors from the 
southern Highlands. Young Inchbrakie arrived too 
with a contingent of the Atholl men. Save for the lack 
of cavalry Montrose had now the strongest force he had 
yet commanded. He marched by his old route down 
the Isla to Dunkeld to watch the movements of the 
Covenant in Perth, and wait for Aboyne and the 

Parliament met on the 24th of July under the guard of 
a large force of infantry and 400 horse. If Montrose 
was to upset their peace of mind, it was necessary to 
make a show of cavalry to keep the 400 at home. 
Accordingly he mounted many of his foot on baggage 
horses ; and as the Perth citizens cast their eyes to 
the north they were amazed to see a cloud of Royalist 
cavalry on the horizon. It was sufficient to make 
them shut the gates and keep close within the walls. 
For a few days from their camp at Methven, eight 
miles oflF, the Royalists kept the ancient city in terror. 
At any moment the assault might be sounded, and 


Parliament debated with the fear of sudden death in 
each debater's heart. 

The bluff could not be long kept up. Presently it 
was discovered that the cavalry was a sham, being no 
more than eighty troopers and a number of amateurs 
on pack-horses. The courage of the Covenant horse 
revived, and a sally was ordered. Montrose had no 
wish to fight a battle till the time was ripe, and he 
fell back on his camp at Methven. But Methven was 
too near the plains to be any permanent refuge, and 
as the Covenanters advanced he was compelled to 
retire till he had reached the skirts of the hills. The 
Covenanting horse harried his rear, but his Highland 
sharpshooters lay in wait for them, and, stalking them 
through the undergrowth, emptied a saddle with every 
shot. The retreat, however, had been too hurried 
to be without disaster. Some of the Irish women, 
the wives and daughters of Alastair's soldiery, had 
straggled too far behind in Methven Wood, and 
were seized and butchered in cold blood by the 
Covenanters.^") «As at Naseby," says Mr. Gardiner, 
"the notion of avenging injured morality probably 
covered from the eyes of the murderers the inherent 
brutality of their act." ^^''^ But these poor creatures were 
no painted madams of the court, but the women-folk of 
humble soldiers, who followed their husbands and fathers 
for the same motives that had attached Scotswomen in 
hundreds to the tail of Leven's army in England. 

(1,744) I I 


For a week Montrose waited in Dunkeld till Aboyne 
arrived with 200 Gordon horse and 120 mounted 
infantry — that is, musketeers who had some skill in 
riding, mounted on baggage ponies/^s) Not the least 
welcome was old Airlie, now recovered from his sick- 
ness, who rode in with eighty of his mounted 
Ogilvys. Montrose now commanded a force of at 
least four thousand four hundred foot and five 
hundred cavalry ;^5^^ a seasoned force, for all were 
hard fighting men, and the thousand Irish were prob- 
ably the best foot in Britain at the time. Most of 
the troops had, under his leadership, been present at 
several victories, and all had wrongs to avenge on 
some section or other of the Covenanters. It was 
the first time that he had commanded an army com- 
parable in the strength of all arms to its opponents. 

Meanwhile Baillie in Perth was in a gloomy frame 
of mind. He thought little of his new levies, and 
he was distracted by his Committee of Advice. Once 
again he resigned, and once again he was induced to 
withdraw his resignation. Montrose marched upon 
Methven to have a look at the enemy, and the Coven- 
anters promptly retired to their fortified camp of Kil- 
graston on the Earn. As Montrose followed at his 
leisure he had news which determined his strategy. 
The Covenant was making a desperate bid for success. 
Eglinton, Cassilis, and Glencairn were raising the 
Covenanting westlands ; Lanark had collected the 

Campai5;n of 

Montrose's Marc/i — 

Sea If or Ml If: 


Hamilton tenantry, and with 1,000 foot and 500 horse 
was hastening from Clydesdale. Baillie's army was 
already superior in numbers to his own, and Montrose 
did not wish the odds to be too great, for he realized 
as well as the Covenant that on the coming fight must 
depend the future of the king's cause in Scotland. He 
resolved, therefore, to fling himself between Baillie 
and Lanark. Baillie was lying at Kilgraston waiting 
on his Fife levies. If he fought him now, he would 
still have the men of Fife to deal with, not to speak 
of Lanark. If he cut off the Fife m^en, he would 
still have Baillie, and during these manoeuvres Lanark 
would have arrived. The wiser game was to let 
Baillie get his Fife recruits, and then cut him off from 
the west. Besides, the further he could draw the Fife 
levies from their country the less stomach would these 
home-keeping souls have for fighting. Lanark he 
knew of old, and he may well have argued that if he 
scattered Baillie, he could have littk to fear from the 

On or about the loth of August Montrose slipped 
past Perth and swept down Glenfarg to the neighbour- 
hood of Kinross. Baillie must have guessed that he 
had gone to cut off the Fife recruits, but the speedy 
arrival of these levies in his camp convinced him that 
this was not Montrose's aim. Presently came news 
that the grim tower of Castle Campbell above Dollar 
had been sacked and burned. While the Covenanters 


lay at the north end of the Ochlls, Montrose was turn- 
ing the eastern flank. Further tidings of him came 
from the lands of Lord Mar, who was the father-in-law 
of the Master of Napier. In so large a force Montrose 
could not exercise the personal supervision which is 
possible in a small army, and the Irish seem to have 
got out of hand, for they plundered the little town of 
Alloa, and some of the Mar holdings. Mar, however, 
bore no ill-will, for, while Alastair led on the foot in 
advance, he invited Montrose and his staff" to dine 
with him at Alloa House. By this time Baillie had 
made up his mind. As Montrose was at dinner he 
received the intelligence that the Covenanters were 
marching with all speed along the north side of the 
Ochils to cut him off". It was vital to his strategy 
that he should keep ahead of them ; so, hastily catch- 
ing up his foot, he led his army that night across the 
Forth, a mile or two above Stirling. Next day he 
continued his march in the direction of Glasgow, and 
by the evening of the 14th of August was encamped in 
an upland meadow on one of the affluents of the river 
Kelvin, about a mile north-east of the town of Kilsyth. 
He argued that it was now Baillie's business to find 
him and fight him, for the Covenanters must pass 
beneath him before they could join Lanark, who was 
marching from Glasgow, 

Baillie, making the best speed possible past Dun- 
blane and down the Allan water, was compelled by 


Argyll to waste time in burning Lord Stirling's castle 
of Menstrie and the Graham house of Airth. He 
found, as he expected, that the presence of the 
Committee made discipline almost impossible, and 
the Fife levies grew more out of humour and spirit 
with every mile that increased the distance from their 
homes. On the evening of the 14th he was encamped 
at Hollinbush on the road from Stirling, only two and 
a half miles from where Montrose lay. His scouts 
had kept him well informed of the enemy's where- 
abouts, and a great discussion arose in the Committee. 
Baillie was for taking no risks, and waiting till Lanark, 
now only twelve miles distant, brought up his re- 
inforcements. But Argyll and his colleagues would 
brook no delay. They had 6,000 foot, and 800 
horse. They were in the Lowlands at last ; and 
Lanark at the latest would be with them in a few 
hours. Let them strike home at once, and Lanark 
when he came would help to take order with the 

The dawn of the 15th was windless and cloudless, 
giving promise of a scorching August day. With the 
first light the Covenanters were on the move. They 
left the road and made straight across country in the 
direction of Montrose's camp, wading through fields 
of ripening corn, and scrambling up the steep slopes 
of the Campsie Hills. Soon they reached the rim of 
the basin where the Royalists lay, and Baillie, tired of 


the rough journey, was content to halt in what seemed 
an impregnable position. He held the high ground, 
and below him fell the rugged hill to the little burn, 
beyond which lay Montrose. A quarter of a mile to 
the right the glen closed in, and the burn descended 
through a narrow ravine. The military genius of 
the Committee immediately conceived a plan. They 
believed that Montrose was doomed to defeat, and 
their only fear was lest he should escape to the 
north, for that way lay the road to Mentelth and 
the Highlands. If they could outflank him and 
take up a position on the ridge due north from his 
left he would be pinned between them and the 

As Montrose watched the enemy's doings he was 
content with the ground he had chosen. He did not 
believe that Baillle would charge down the steep ; if 
he did, the use of horse on such ground was im- 
possible, and he could guess the condition in which 
the Lowland infantry would arrive at the bottom. 
He believed that the Covenanters would simply wait 
for Lanark, and he had made up his mind to charge 
the position above, for the steeps of the Campsies 
were nothing to men who knew Glencoe and Lochaber. 
He asked his army whether they chose to retreat or 
fight, and the fierce cry for battle reassured him of 
their spirit. Foreseeing the heat of the day, he bade 
his Highlanders cast their plaids and fight in their 


shirts, and knot up the long tails of their kilts between 
their legs to give them freedom of action/^?) His 
horse he ordered to wear their shirts above their buff 
jerkins, in order that they might be distinguished from 
the enemy. It was a necessary precaution in an army 
of many different levies, where the separate parts were 
scarcely known to each other. Alastair's men in the 
heat of battle must have some clear mark by which 
to distinguish friend from foe, or regrettable incidents 
would occur. Near the head of the glen, and on the 
slope of the hill on which the Covenanters stood, were 
several cottages and little gardens walled with dry- 
stone dikes. It was a sort of Hougoumont, a place 
which any prudent commander must seize ; so he 
ordered its occupation by the advance guard of 
Alastair's centre, which happened to be a body of 
Macleans under Ewan of Treshnish. 

But as Montrose watched the crest of the hill he 
observed the Covenanters in motion. He could scarcely 
believe his eyes when he perceived that they were 
about to attempt a flank march across his front. It is 
never a safe or easy manoeuvre, more especially when 
the foe is almost within musket shot, and in mobility 
and speed is the superior of the side attempting it. 
Baillie bitterly protested ; but the Committee would 
have their way, and for the rest of the day he was 
carrying out orders not his own. To reach the hill 
directly above Montrose's left it was necessary to 


make the circuit of the glen and cross the burn, which 
there flowed in a ravine. The movement was led by 
Balcarres and the horse, and Baillie followed close 
on him with the foot, accompanied by Lindsay and 
Balfour of Burleigh. 

On one condition alone might such a move have 
succeeded. If the Covenanters had kept behind the 
ridge in their march, leaving a small force to occupy 
the crest of the hill in their old position, they might 
have safely reached their goal, and once there, with 
a gradual slope before them on which horse could be 
used, they would have seriously embarrassed Montrose. 
But such tactics needed a swiftness and a precision 
which the Covenanters did not possess. Almost at 
once they were visible to the Royalists below, owing 
to a grave breach of discipline. A certain Major 
Haldane, observing the cottages which Treshnish had 
occupied, decided on his own authority that he must 
attack the position. Accordingly with his men he 
broke off from the main march and started down the 
hill. He was soon driven back ; but it was never 
the Highland way to repel without a counter-attack. 
Alastair launched the whole body of Macleans 
against the assailants, and they were speedily followed 
by their old rivals, the Macdonalds of Clanranald, 
who vied with them in the race for the ridge. Young 
Donald of Moidart won, but Lachlan of Duart was 
little behind. On surged the billow of Celtic war 


till it struck the Covenant line in the middle. Colonel 
Hume, who commanded there, drew off four of his 
foot regiments behind some dikes on the hilltop, 
and attempted a stand. But the Highlanders leapt 
the walls with their targes high and their heads down, 
and in a few minutes the Covenant centre was in flight. 
Macdonald's breach of orders had succeeded beyond 
its deserts, and Baillie's army was cut in two. 

Meanwhile the Covenant van had crossed the burn 
and rounded the head of the glen. Montrose, who at 
first can only have guessed at the aim of the flank 
movement, now saw clearly its motive. It was impos- 
sible to let the enemy occupy the height on his left, so 
he dispatched a body of Gordon foot under their adjutant 
to forestall them. The bulk of Balcarres's horse must 
have been behind the ridge, for if Montrose could 
have seen their full force he would have attempted 
to hold the hill in greater strength. The Gordons 
found the task beyond their power.^^s) They were 
driven back, and to the eyes of Aboyne — whom 
Montrose, remembering Lord Gordon's fate at Alford, 
had kept at the rear with a strong bodyguard — seemed 
to be caught in a deathtrap. He broke away with 
the Gordon horse to the assistance of his kinsmen. 
But he, too, was surrounded, and Montrose called 
upon Airlie and his Ogilvys to redeem the day. The 
gallant old man, for all his seventy years and more, 
led his troops to the charge, and the tide of battle on 


the hill began to turn. Then Montrose dispatched 

Nathaniel Gordon with the remainder of the cavalry, 

seeing that Alastair was having his own way in the 

rest of the field. Balcarres's cuirassiers were driven 

back from the ridge, the advance foot were routed, 

and the Covenant van shared the fate of the Covenant 

Baillie was soon aware that the day was lost. 
Haldane's escapade brought him racing back from 
Balcarres's side, but the mischief had been done. He 
endeavoured in vain to rally the foot, and then in 
despair galloped to the rear for the Fife reserves. 
But the men of Fife had early despaired of the issue, 
and were in full flight for their homes. About the 
same time Montrose's trumpets sounded the general 
advance. The whole Royalist army swept up the hill, 
but no foe awaited them on the crest. The semicircle 
of the little amphitheatre was empty, and the outside 
rim was strewn with flying horse and foot. Of the 
6,000 men who had set out to fight that morning 
under the Covenant's banner scarcely a hundred 
escaped. The murder of their women in Methven 
Wood had not disposed Ulsterman or Highlander to 
a mercy which they knew would never be extended to 
themselves. Many of the horse, too, perished, caught 
in the mires of Dullatur. The leaders escaped, as 
always happened in the Covenant's battles. The lairds 
and nobles had better horses, and they had no scruple 


of honour In saving their own necks and leaving the 
plain folk who had trusted them to perish miserably. 
Well for themselves that the western Covenanters were 
too late for the fight, and had ample time to escape. 
Lanark fled to Berwick, Glencalrn and Cassllis to 
Ireland. Baillie sought sanctuary in Stirling Castle, 
where he was joined by Balcarres and Balfour of 
Burleigh. Loudoun and Lindsay escaped to England. 
Argyll galloped twenty miles to Queensferry on the 
Forth, where he found a boat which landed him at 
Berwick in the safe keeping of the Scots garrison. 
As at Inveraray and at Inverlochy he escaped by water 
from Montrose's swords. 

The decisive battle had at last been fought. So far 
as Scotland was concerned the forces of the Covenant 
were annihilated, and Its leaders were in exile. Scarcely 
a year had passed since that autumn evening when, 
with two companions, Montrose had alighted at the 
door of Tullibelton — without men, money, or pros- 
pects, and with no resources for his wild mission save 
the gallantry of his heart. Since then he had scourged 
the Covenant from Inveraray to Buchan, and from 
Lochaber to Angus. With halting allies and few 
troops, with poor weapons and scanty ammunition, 
amid broken promises and private sorrows and endless 
disappointments, he had sought out his enemies and 
beaten them wherever he found them. He had ex- 
celled them in strategy and in tactics, in cavalry and In 


infantry movements, in the offensive and in the defen- 
sive. He had shown himself able to adapt his few 
resources to any emergency, and to rise superior to 
any misfortune. His reward had come. For the 
moment he was the undisputed master of all Scotland. 



(August-September 1645.) 

" I PROFESS to you," wrote Digby to Jermyn on the 
2 1 St of September, a month after Kilsyth, "I never did 
look upon our business with that assurance that I do 
now, of God's carrying us through with His own 
immediate hand, for all this work of Montrose is above 
what can be attributed to mankind." ^^^ Had there been 
any other Royalist of one-tenth of Montrose's genius 
the king's crown would never have fallen. But from 
the south he received nothing but empty praise. 
What had become of Sir Philip Musgrave's 500 
horse, what of the 1,500 which Digby promised ? 
Montrose had been true to his word ; he had 
scattered the Covenant in Scotland, and deprived 
Leven and Leslie of a base. But to " fix his 
conquests " was beyond the power of mortal man 
unless help came from the south. He himself 
thought otherwise. He hoped still to lead a great 
army across the Border, and turn the wavering balance 


in Charles's favour. But his courage outran the 
possibilities. Scotland was subdued, not converted, 
and, unless the king came north as a conqueror, 
Montrose would have to wrestle daily and cease- 
lessly to hold her to her unwilling allegiance. Never 
in history have Highlands dominated Lowlands for 

At first the prospect looked fair enough. After 
waiting two days at Kilsyth, during which he sent a 
message of assurance to the city of Glasgow, the 
victorious general entered the capital of the west. 
Glasgow was at this time a thriving and clean little 
city, clustering around its cathedral and ancient 
university above the meadows of Clyde. Here seven 
years before had been held that General Assembly at 
which Episcopacy in Scotland had been abolished, and 
Montrose in his Presbyterian zeal had shown himselt 
the foremost in the baiting of Hamilton. The place 
had never evinced the Covenanting virulence of 
Edinburgh. Pride in their great church, happily saved 
from the iconoclasts, had kept its citizens on the side 
of decency and temperance in religious affairs. A 
deputation from the town council met the king's 
lieutenant outside the walls, offering the value 
of £s^o in English money as a largess to the 
soldiers, and praying that the city might be left un- 
molested. To this request Montrose readily agreed. 
He issued stringent orders against theft and violence, 


and his entry was welcomed with a popular enthusiasm 
hardly to be looked for in the Lowlands. Unfortunately 
the sight of the well-stocked booths and prosperous 
dwellings of the Saltmarket and the Gallowgate was 
too much for some of his followers, who had not 
believed that so much wealth existed in the world, 
and could not readily forget their Highland creed 
that spoil should follow victory. Looting began, and 
Montrose, true to his word, promptly hanged several 
of the malefactors. But he saw that Glasgow was 
to prove too severe a trial to his army, so two days 
after his arrival, about the 20th of August, he 
marched six miles up the river to Both well. 

Here he took measures for the government of 
Scotland, which the fortune of war had now entrusted 
to his hands. The first business was to stamp out 
the embers of disaffection. Some of Eglinton's levies 
were still threatening in the west, and Alastair was 
dispatched to bring them to reason. He met with 
no opposition, and to his surprise was welcomed 
cordially at Loudoun Castle by the wife of the 
Covenanting chancellor. The shires of Renfrew and 
Ayr sent in their submission and petitioned for favour. 
Other counties and burghs followed suit, and 
presently arrived the nobles and gentry to greet the 
rising sun. The midlands of Scotland were naturally 
foremost. Linlithgow, Erskine, Seton, Drummond, 
Maderty — declared Covenanters and passive Loyalists 


alike — hastened to Bothwell. More important were 
the recruits from the south, the nobles whom Montrose 
had solicited in vain at Dumfries the year before. 
Annandale, Hartfell, and Fleming swore allegiance, as 
did powerful lairds like Charteris of Amisfield and 
those Border earls, Roxburgh and Home, who for the 
past few years had coquetted with both king and 
Covenant. Traquair, another waverer, sent his son. 
Lord Linton, with the promise of a troop of horse. 
Carnwath's brother. Sir John Dalziel, brought the 
fiercest blood^^'^ in the Lowlands to the standard. And to 
crown all came the Marquis of Douglas, who as Lord 
Angus had been the travelling companion of Montrose's 
youth. The prestige of the Bloody Heart had not 
wholly died even in an age which had tried to bolt 
the door on the past, and the vast Douglas lands in 
Clydesdale and Dumfries promised a rich recruiting 

There were other allies to be gathered. At the 
earliest opportunity the Master of Napier and Nathaniel 
Gordon were dispatched Edinburgh-wards on a jail 
delivery. From the prison at Linlithgow they released 
Lord Napier and Stirling of Keir, and the ladies of the 
Stirling and Napier families. Arriving within four miles 
of Edinburgh they summoned the city in the king's 
name, and received the humble submission of a 
deputation from the town council. A money fine 
was offered, and it was explained that they had been 


driven into rebellion against their will by the craft of 
a few seditious men. The plague which was still raging 
had sapped all civic valour, and the Edinburgh 
Covenanters were ready to promise anything for peace. 
The Tolbooth was full of Royalists, and during the 
year death and sickness had raged in that noisome 
place. Crawford, Ogilvy, Reay, the laird of Drum, 
and Wishart the chaplain were among those set free. 
Wishart never forgot the experience. It made him, 
as he said, a " friend of prisoners for ever," and he 
bore the marks of the rats' teeth to his grave. One 
captive they did not recover. The young Lord Graham 
was in the Castle, and the Castle was still in Covenant 
hands. The gallant boy ^^'^ refused an exchange, de- 
claring that it would ill-become one so young and 
useless to deprive his father of a single prisoner. 
Napier and Gordon had another mission to execute 
in the east. They carried a letter from Montrose to 
Drummond of Hawthornden, begging for a copy of 
his "Irene," the pamphlet written in 1638 during 
Montrose's Covenanting days, that it might be printed 
and published "to the contentment of all His Majesty's 
good subjects." The old poet promised to transcribe 
and send the paper, but before it arrived the curtain had 
fallen on the new Golden Age which he had thought 

By the ist of September Napier and Gordon with 

their released prisoners were back in the camp at 
(1.744) 12 


Bothwell. On that day Sir Robert Spottiswoode, the 
king's secretary for Scotland, arrived with letters from 
Charles. He brought with him a patent, dated the 1 5th 
of June, creating Montrose lieutenant-governor and 
captain-general of Scotland. The royal instructions 
were to join the Border earls and march with all 
haste to Tweed. As these had been issued before 
Alford and Kilsyth they seemed to Montrose to have 
redoubled force now that he was master of Scotland. 
Besides, Home and Roxburgh had written, pleading 
with him to come to Tweedside and add their spears 
to his standard. Every prospect seemed rosy, and 
Montrose dispatched a post to the king announcing 
that he hoped speedily to cross the Border with 
20,000 men. On the 3rd of September he held a 
great review of his troops, when the royal com- 
mission was presented to the viceroy and handed for 
proclamation to Sir Archibald Primrose, the founder of 
the family of Rosebery. Montrose's first act under his 
new authority was to confer the honour of knighthood 
on Alastair. He had nobly earned it. The next few 
months of blundering in Argyll were to show how little 
of a general he was on his own account. Two years 
later he was to disappear from history, stabbed in the 
back in an obscure Irish fray. But as a brigadier 
under Montrose he was worth an army, and his 
stand at Auldearn will live as long as feats of valour 
can stir the hearts of men. 


As soon as the kin.g^'s commission was received 
Montrose, as viceroy of Scotland, took steps for 
the administration of the government. He issued 
proclamations to the chief towns, summoning a Parlia- 
ment to be held in Glasgow on the 20th of October 
next " for settling religion and peace, and freeing the 
oppressed subjects of those insupportable burdens they 
have groaned under this time bygone." He prepared 
also a statement ^^^^ which he probably intended to 
present to Parliament when it assembled. It is on the 
lines of his Dumfries manifesto, but a fuller and clearer 
confession of faith. He repeats the justification of the 
National Covenant — the evils of an unnatural and en- 
forced Prelacy, under which ecclesiastics intermeddled 
with civil government, and, "the life of the Gospel 
was stolen away by enforcing on the Kirk a dead 
Service Book." To every line of that Covenant he 
still adhered, but long ago its mission was accom- 
plished. First at Berwick and then at Ripon the king 
had granted all their demands. Further no true 
Covenanter could go, for the cause of the Covenant 
was the cause of king and country. All that had 
been done since had been alien to the Covenant spirit, 
and every honest man must needs part company with 
its perverters. " We were constrained to suffer them 
to deviate without us, with the multitude misled by 
them, whose eyes they seal in what concerns religion, 
and hearts they steal away in what concerns loyalty." 


He expounds his own difficulties — " wrestling betwixt 
extremities " — till facts decided for him. The nobles 
had tasted " the sweetness of government," and they 
would not be content till they had destroyed 
"lawful authority and the liberty of the subject." 
The Kirk would have coerced men into blind obedience, 
a tyranny worse than Popery. He took up arms, he 
says, first, for national religion, " the restoration of 
that which our first reformers had ; " second, for the 
maintenance of the central authority, the king ; and, 
third, for " the vindication of our nation from the 
base servitude of subjects, who, like the Israelites, 
have their burdens doubled, but are not sensible of 
them.'* He answers his critics, especially those 
timorous souls who "are so stuffed with infidelity 
that they can believe nothing but what they see, and 
can commit nothing to God." If he had used the 
services of Alastair Macdonald, a "professed Papist," 
did not his opponents employ in Ireland, under 
Monro, the selfsame people ? He repudiates the 
charge of blood-guiltiness. He had never " shed the 
blood of any but of such as were sent forth by them 
to shed our blood and to take our lives," adding, 
with a touch of the Covenanters' own manner, "and 
what is done in the land it may sensibly seem to be 
the Lord's doing, in making a handful to overthrow 
multitudes." Freedom and toleration in religion, a 
strong central government, and a lighter taxation for 


the burdened people of Scotland — for these he had 
drawn the sword. 

It was the appeal to his countrymen on which he 
hoped to build a civil authority to correspond to that 
which he had won in war. The merits of the creed as 
an ideal of statecraft will be discussed later. At present 
we have to consider it as tactics, a step in the game 
of high politics. As such it was bound to fail. The 
appeal was unintelligible to all save a few, and the 
defence would not convince. The people of the Low- 
lands had lost friends and kinsmen in the Highland 
wars, their ears had been horrified with endless tales of 
pillage and violence, and at the back of every Lowland 
heart lay a jealousy and dislike of the Celt, whether 
Ulster or Scottish, as of a race they did not under- 
stand. To say that Monro had used similar troops in 
Ireland was no more convincing to most people than 
to urge that the clans had once fought bravely at 
Bannockburn for Scottish independence. To point to 
Argyll's barbarities in the Highlands as worse than any 
slaughter by Alastair was to miss the point of the 
grievance. To a Lowlander the victims in the first case 
were savages and aliens, and in the latter they were 
" kindly Scots." As for the king, there was still some 
loyal sentiment for him in Scotland, a clannish feeling, 
for had she not given to England the royal house .'' 
But the feeling was only sentimental, while Montrose's 
royalism was a reasoned appeal for a central authority, 


whatever name it might be given — an appeal which 
nobody, except perhaps Napier, understood. As for the 
Kirk, no doubt its encroachments were becoming a 
burden, but it had the terrible mastery over its people 
which is given by the possession of the keys of heaven 
and hell. Before that tyranny could be broken there 
were to be long years of struggle and much shedding 
of innocent blood. Besides, the Lowlands had no 
other voice than the ministers. They were the sole 
interpreters, teachers, and guides. No mere pro- 
clamation could break through that plate armour of 
defence to the starved and puzzled souls behind it. 
The one argument of practical value was the promise 
to reduce the grievous weight of taxation. But a 
Lowland peasant or burgher might well have been 
pardoned for doubting whether Montrose, with an 
army of hungry kerns to keep, would prove an easier 
tax-collector. The remonstrance, while of the highest 
value as a clue to Montrose's philosophy, shows that 
he wholly misread the immediate political situation. He 
could look for recruits only to those who were tired of 
the domineering Kirk, and jealous of the Covenanting 
leaders. Such were to be found among the nobles and 
gentry alone, and these, and the tenantry they could 
command, were all that appeared in the camp at 

Meanwhile that army which had fought under him 
in so many battles was beginning as usual to melt away. 


The Highlanders wanted to return to their homes. 
It was their fashion, for the families they left behind 
them had rarely food for more than a week or two, and 
would starve if the husbands and fathers did not return 
often to replenish the pot. Miserably poor, war was a 
business to them, and they had to deposit their win- 
nings. They had stayed on after Kilsyth, in the hope 
of the plunder of Glasgow, but Glasgow was inviolate, 
and one or two of them who had tried to use the rich 
town as it should be used were now swinging from 
Glasgow gibbets for their pains. Further, the £s^o 
which the citizens had offered was not to be paid. 
The town council, fearing lest the meeting of Parlia- 
ment would cost the city large sums, begged to be let 
off the contribution, and Montrose had consented. 
The clans were disgusted, and began to trickle away. 
There were other reasons. The Macleans must be 
looking after their homes in Mull, or the Campbells 
would be avenging Kilsyth. The Macdonalds had still 
grudges to wreak on Clan Diarmaid which not even 
Inverlochy had satisfied. There is no reason to blame 
the Highlanders unduly. Organized Lowland warfare, 
such as Montrose now proposed, was a thing which 
they did not understand, and which upset the whole 
system and tradition of their lives. Sir Alastair alone 
deserves censure. He was an experienced soldier, and 
knew something of the difficulties that were before 
his chief. But his knighthood and his new post of 


captain - general of the clans under Montrose had 
turned his head. He proposed to himself a campaign 
in Argyll which should root the Campbells out of the 
peninsula. He promised to return, and no doubt 
honestly meant it, but from the hour when he marched 
off with half his Irishry and all the Highlanders, 
Montrose never saw his old lieutenant again. Five 
hundred Ulstermen — among them the gallant O'Kean — 
to their eternal honour refused to leave the royal 

Douglas and Ogilvy had been already dispatched 
to the Borders to recruit, and on the 4th of September 
Montrose broke up his camp at Bothwell and began his 
march towards Tweed. His plan was to march through 
the Lothians, and then descend by one of the passes of 
the Lammermoors to the country of Home and 
Roxburgh. At the end of the first day, however, he 
had to face a defection more serious than Alastair's. 
Aboyne had been rapidly getting out of humour, and 
his ill-temper was zealously fomented by Huntly, 
his father. He was insulted because Crawford, instead 
of himself, had been given the command of the cavalry. 
The return of Ogilvy had restored to Montrose his 
oldest comrade, and to the Gordon it seemed that an 
Ogilvy was preferred before him. The dispatches to the 
king which he had seen were in his view insufficiently 
laudatory of his own doings. Last and most important 
there was old Huntly, whose every letter upbraided his 


heir for an alliance with an enemy of his house. The 
untameable perverseness of the Gordon blood triumphed 
over his loyalty both to his king and his general. In 
spite of Ogilvy's appeals, he marched off with the 
Gordon horse and foot. Only Nathaniel Gordon 
remained ; for him the comradeship-in-arms begun 
after Tippermuir was only to end with death. 

Montrose traversed the moorland country of the 
Lothians, avoiding the plague-stricken Edinburgh, to 
Cranstoun, south - east of Dalkeith. It was now 
Saturday, the 6th of September, and on the following 
day it was intended that Wishart should preach to the 
army. But news was received from Lord Erskine 
which changed the situation. David Leslie, the future 
Lord Newark, and a soldier far abler than Leven or 
Baillie, had after Carlisle taken his horse to the assist- 
ance of Leven at Hereford. But the tidings of Kilsyth 
altered his plans. His men refused to continue the war 
in England while Scotland was defenceless, and, though 
his first intention was only to take half his force, he 
was soon compelled to take the whole 4,000. The 
siege of Hereford was raised — it was the one direct 
result of Kilsyth in the king's favour — while Leslie 
hastened with all speed to the north. Had the king's 
army been better led, he would never have reached the 
Border. There was one moment at Rotherham, as 
he himself admitted, when, if the adjacent royal forces 
had struck, he would have been destroyed. But he 


passed unchallenged, and, collecting reinforcements of 
foot from the garrisons of Newcastle and Berwick, he 
had crossed the Border on the 6th of September, with 
Middleton commanding his advance guard. His aim 
was to cut off Montrose from the Highlands, so he 
proposed to take up his position somewhere on the 
neck of land between Forth and Clyde. 

The problem before Montrose was once more 
the old one of how to raise an army. Cavalry he 
must lind, for Aboyne's defection had left him with 
scarcely a hundred troopers, most of them probably 
Lord Airlie's Ogilvys. He could count on some levies 
as the result of Douglas's recruiting, and for the rest he 
must depend upon Home and Roxburgh. After that he 
would go north and test the quality of David Leslie. 
Accordingly, on the Saturday afternoon, the Royalists 
turned to their right and marched down Gala water to 
Tweedside. Next day at Torwoodlee, Douglas and 
Ogilvy joined them with some 1,200 horse from 
Nithsdale and Upper Clydesdale and the Borders. 
The recruits were all lairds or lairds' sons and their 
immediate retainers, a half-hearted and unstable crew 
who had none of the old moss-trooping fire. Some- 
where, too, on Gala water, Linton joined with his troop 
of Peeblesshire horse, and his father, Traquair, rode 
over to visit the viceroy. He came in all likelihood to 
spy out the nakedness of the land, with results which 
we shall see. 


Marching slowly down Tweed, Montrose reached 
Kelso on the 8th or 9th. It was the appointed ren- 
dezvous, but he found no sign of Home or Roxburgh. 
He waited for a day, and then he heard ominous news. 
The Border earls were with Leslie, prisoners, so 
ran their own story, captured by Middleton and his 
advance guard. It was a tale which common opinion 
scouted, and indeed it is intrinsically unlikely that two 
powerful nobles in their own countryside, twenty miles 
at least from Leslie's line of march, and with ample 
knowledge of his coming, should not have been able to 
escape if they had wished it. It is far more probable 
that, knowing Leslie's strength and Montrose's 
predicament, they sought security by putting them- 
selves in the enemy's power. 

To tarry at Kelso was mere folly, so Montrose 
turned wearily up Tweed. Douglas held out hopes of 
raising the westlands — vain hopes, for in no quarter of 
Scotland was the power of the ministers so great. He 
rated the prestige of the Douglas name higher than was 
warranted by tacts. Montrose accepted the scheme, for 
in any case it would lead him back to the hills to 
which he had always turned his eyes for help. He 
marched to Jedburgh, but there was nothing to be 
looked for from the Kerrs, whose chief, Lothian, was a 
Covenanting general. Then he entered the Scott 
country, but Buccleuch also was a Covenanter of a sort, 
and the old raiding spirit was dying in his glens. The 


successors of Wat of Harden and Dickie of Dryhope 
were a peaceable folk, and brawls at a fair or a clipping 
were their only form of war. He would have fared 
better among the Armstrongs and Elliots farther south, 
who, as Cromwell was to find, were still good men of 
their hands. During the march Sir Robert Spottiswoode 
wrote a letter^'^''^ — never posted — to Digby, who was 
still nursing his vain dreams. He told him of 
Montrose's desperate plight, and upbraided him for 
not detaining Leslie in England. He asked what had 
become of the promised cavalry. Digby at the moment, 
and for a fortnight later, was full of hope and confi- 
dence, which even the disaster of Rowton Heath could 
not shake. Stories were arriving of a fight in West- 
morland, in which Crawford and Ogilvy had annihilated 
Leslie. Soon he was to hear from Byron that the 
soldiers in Poyntz's army were celebrating a great 
victory which had shattered Montrose's power. The 
first tale was false, the second proved only too true. 

On the afternoon of the I2th of September, 
Montrose had arrived at the gate of the hill country, 
the flats of Philiphaugh, under the little burgh of 
Selkirk, where the two glens of Yarrow and Ettrick 
meet. Just below the junction of the streams, on the 
left-hand bank of Ettrick, is a level meadow a quarter of 
a mile wide, with the water on one side, and a steep 
wooded hill on the other. Here he fixed his camp, and 
placed his few guns. It was protected on the south 


and east by the Ettrick and its tributary the 
Yarrow, on the north by the hill, and on the west by 
the Yarrow and a steep wood called the Hareheadshaw. 
The position was a strong one, but as the army did 
not expect a battle it was probably only loosely occupied. 
There was no premonition of immediate danger. 
Leslie was believed to be far away on the Forth, 
and, in Sir Robert Spottiswoode's letter to Digby, 
Montrose was said to be resolute to chase him. He 
did not know that the pursued had become the 

At Gladsmuir in East Lothian late on the nth of 
September, Leslie had received a letter revealing the weak- 
ness of the Royalist force. Popular tradition^^^^ made 
Traquair the sender, and there is no reason to disbelieve 
a tale so consistent with the character of a family which, 
during the Covenant, as during the later Jacobite, wars, 
was uniformly treacherous. Traquair had also shown his 
hand by sending a message to his son. Lord Linton, to 
withdraw him and his troop from Montrose's camp. 
Leslie, when he got the news, at once changed his 
plans. He marched straight down Gala Water, crossed 
the ridge at Rink, and forded Tweed.^*^^ Late on the 
night of the I2th he had reached the hamlet of 
Sunderland, which stood on the peninsula formed by 
the junction of Tweed and Ettrick. He was now less 
than three miles from the Royalist camp. He had 
caught his quarry, but only by the skin of his teeth. 


for another day would have seen Montrose safe in the 

The king's captain-general left the posting of the 
pickets to his officers, and retired himself with the 
flower of his cavalry across the Ettrick to a lodging in 
the West Port of Selkirk.^^''^ Here for most of the night 
he busied himself with dispatches to the king, and 
possibly, too, with revising his address to the coming 
Parliament. It was an inexplicable blunder, only to be 
accounted for by one of those fits of bodily and mental 
weariness which come at times upon the greatest 
commanders. The night was dark as pitch, and though 
mounted scouts were sent out to patrol all the 
approaches they saw and heard nothing. Since the 
scouts were local men and Traquair's tenants, it is 
possible that they were infected with the treachery of 
their master. Charteris of Amisfield, indeed, seems to 
have got in touch with Leslie's pickets at Sunderland, 
and shots were exchanged, but his account was confused, 
and the incident was regarded as a drunken brawl 
among his men and not reported to the general.^^^^ The 
morning dawned with one of those thick autumnal fogs 
which in the valley bottoms in the early hours prevent 
a man seeing three yards before him. Scouts were sent 
out again at the first light, and reported to Montrose 
that the country was clear. So it was, on all sides 
except the direction of Sunderland, and Amisfield's 
report from that quarter had been already discounted. 


Meantime the enemy had divided his force into two 
parts, and with one marched swiftly up the left bank 
of Ettrick. The other, 2,000 strong, had crossed 
that water and by way of Will's Nick had reached the 
Selkirk road. After cooking a leisurely meal, Montrose's 
army was assembling for parade, when through the 
mists came the rush of Leslie's horse. 

Montrose was at breakfast when he received 
the news. He flung himself on a horse, and with 
Airlie, Crawford, and Napier, galloped back to his 
army. He found the field in confusion. Douglas's 
moss-troopers, in spite of their gallant leader, had fled 
at the first shot. The 500 Ulstermen, however, 
were fighting a desperate fight, having found or thrown 
up some shallow defences. Montrose collected his 
hundred troopers and charged Leslie so madly that for 
the moment he drove back the whole Covenant horse. 
But 600 men, taken by surprise, and with no 
advantages of position, cannot for long do battle 
with 6,000. Leslie's other division harassed the 
Royalist right flank with musketry fire from beyond 
the stream, and presently had forded Ettrick and were 
attacking them from behind. Again and again the 
Covenant troopers charged, only to be driven back by 
the heroic Irish ; again and again Montrose's hundred 
cut their way deep into the enemy's ranks. Philiphaugh 
was not a battle ; it was a surprise and a massacre. 
Soon only fifty horse were left, and of the Irish more 


than four hundred were dead. The remnant of the 
latter under their adjutant Stewart were induced to 
surrender on a promise of quarter.^^'^ 

Montrose fought with a gallantry and desperation 
worthy of Alastair, and but for his friends would have 
died on the field. Lord Douglas and Sir John Dalziel 
pled with him to take his chance of flight, urging that 
so long as he lived the king's cause need not go down. 
He allowed himself to be persuaded. With about 
thirty others, including the two Napiers, Lord Erskine, 
and Lord Fleming, as well as Dalziel and Douglas, he 
cut a road to the west and repulsed a feeble attempt at 
pursuit. The little party galloped up Yarrow vale, and 
at Broadmeadows took the drove-road across Minch- 
moor to Tweeddale. As they disappeared into the 
green hills, with them disappeared the dream of a new 
and happier Scotland. Montrose's cycle of victories 
had proved like the fairy gold which vanishes in a man's 
hand. The year of miracles was ended. 



(September 1645-September 1646.) 

Montrose did not draw rein till he reached the old 

house of Traquair, whose grey and haunted walls still 

stand among the meadows where the Quair burn flows 

to Tweed. Its lord shut his door on the fugitives ; 

his welcome was reserved for the conquering Leslie, 

when with Argyll and Lothian he arrived later in 

pursuit. At Peebles ^^°^ the company halted for a 

little, and then pushed on to Biggar, where they spent 

the night, and long before daybreak were in the saddle 

and heading for the west. Fugitives were picked 

up by the way, including an Ulsterman, who had 

wrapped the colours of the foot round his breast, and, 

having found a horse, caught up Montrose and restored 

to him one of the standards. The other, the cavalry 

colours, was carried by Kinnoul's brother, William 

Hay, into England, and months afterwards was brought 

to Montrose in the north. As they forded Clyde 

they met to their joy old Airlie and Crawford, who 
(1,7") 13 


had probably taken the route by Meggat and upper 
Tweed, and had collected on the road a few of Douglas's 
fleeing troopers. Somehow the party made their way 
through the midlands, and by the 19th were safe on 
the confines of Atholl. 

Now came the harvest of the triumphant Covenant. 
It began on the day of Philiphaugh. Three hundred 
Irish women with their children were butchered on the 
field. Those who wish to sup deep on horrors can 
find the details in Patrick Gordon. The cooks and 
horse-boys also perished to the number of some two 
hundred. The Irish under Stewart had surrendered on 
terms, but Argyll and the ministers who accompanied 
Leslie remonstrated against the Lord's work being 
hindered by any foolish clemency. They argued that 
quarter had been granted to Stewart alone and not to 
his men. Leslie professed himself convinced by this 
miserable quibble, and the unarmed Irish were cut 
down as they stood, or shot next morning in the 
courtyard of Newark Castle.^^'^ O'Kean and another 
officer, Lachlan, were spared for the moment, only to 
be hanged later in Edinburgh without a trial. Stewart 
was also destined to death, but was fortunate enough 
to escape to Montrose. 

The zeal of the Covenant against the daughters of 
Heth was not satiated by the butchery at Philiphaugh. 
Many had escaped, and were slaughtered singly as 
they wandered among the moors of Tweed and Clyde. 

^/Jar^ct^y .^Z^^^^ey t^M^t^^L^yta t^ t^^t^a^^iM< 


In most county histories the slaying is ascribed to the 
infuriated country people, but for this there is no 
evidence. The peasantry of the Lowlands have never 
had a taste for such brutality, and the murders were 
undoubtedly the work of the soldiers of the Covenant, 
who beat the hills for Royalists, as Lag's dragoons 
forty years later were to beat them for Covenanters. 
One large party of the poor creatures was brought to 
Leslie's camp at Linlithgow. They were flung over 
the bridge of Avon, and were either drowned in the 
river or stabbed with the pikes of the soldiers who 
lined the banks. The records of the Irish rebellion 
hold no m.ore horrid cruelties. The inspiration was 
not Leslie's ; it came from the fierce bigots who 
accompanied him. Sometimes the soldiers sickened 
of the work, and asked their clerical advisers, as Leslie 
did at Dunavertie, " Mass John, Mass John, have you 
not gotten your fill of blood ? " ^^^^ 

The roll of captives was a large one. Ogilvy, 
Hartfell, Drummond, Sir Robert Spottiswoode, Sir 
William Rollo, and Nathaniel Gordon were among 
those who fell into Leslie's hands. He marched 
slowly through the Lothians towards Glasgow, where 
a provisional committee dealt with the prisoners. The 
leaders were all reserved for death, though the laymen 
as usual were disposed to be merciful. On the 20th 
of October, on the date and at the place which Montrose 
had appointed for his Parliament, a committee of the 


Estates sat in judgment. The first to be dealt with 
was Sir William Rollo, whose brother had married 
Argyll's sister. For all his lameness he had never 
left Montrose's side, and had been one of his most 
trusted brigadiers. He was beheaded on the 21st. 
On the following day there died Sir Philip Nisbet, 
who had fought in the king's army in England, and 
young Ogilvy of Inverquharity, ^"^ a handsome boy 
still in his teens. The lay Covenanters had their 
scruples over these executions, and recollected that 
in the English war there had been no such slaying 
of prisoners. But the ministers were inexorable. 
" The work gangs bonnily on," said Mr. David 
Dickson, rubbing his hands below the scaffold.^^''^ 
Only by blood could the wrath of the strange deity 
he worshipped be appeased. 

Owing to Montrose's threatened raid the rest of 
the executions were postponed. They began again 
in St. Andrews before Christmas. The Kirk was in 
terror lest Parliament should be too merciful, and 
appeals flowed in from every synod and presbytery. 
" We are confident," wrote the gentle ministers of 
the Merse, "that your hearts will not faint nor your 
hands fail until you have cut off the horns of the 
wicked." The delays, according to the Commissioners 
of the General Assembly, were " displeasing unto the 
Supreme Judge of the world, and grievous unto the 
hearts of the Lord's people." The Lord's people were 


soon to be comforted, for the Estates set to work in 
earnest. But meantime one of their chief victims 
escaped. Lord Ogilvy could look for no mercy, for 
his family was the pet aversion of Argyll, and during 
his short three weeks of liberty he had been the right- 
hand of the king's captain-general. But he was a 
cousin of Lindsay and akin on his mother's side to the 
Hamiltons, so he was allowed the last consolation of 
a visit from his mother, wife, and sister. He was sick 
in bed when the ladies were admitted in the dusk of 
a December evening. Adopting Lady Nithsdale's 
device of a later day, his sister put on his nightcap 
and got into bed, while he dressed himself in her 
clothes. When the guards entered they found three 
tearful women taking farewell of the doomed prisoner, 
and conducted them to the prison gates. Horses were 
waiting close at hand, and Ogilvy galloped across Fife 
to a shelter in Menteith. Argyll would have visited 
his wrath upon the heroic lady, but the Hamilton 
influence was strong enough to save her from his 

There was no such hope for the others. They were 
tried, not as the law enjoined by their peers or by the 
whole Parliament, but by a self-appointed committee. 
Some of the judges voted with qualifications, but the 
verdict was certain. Hartfell, indeed, was pardoned. 
He was disliked by the Hamiltons, and Argyll owed 
them a tit for tat for their clemency towards the Ogilvys. 


On the 2oth of December the " Maiden," which 
had been sent for from Dundee, was set up at the 
market-cross of St. Andrews, and Nathaniel Gordon, 
Andrew Guthrie — a son of the Bishop of Moray — 
and Sir Robert Spottiswoode, paid the last penalty. 
Two days later died William Murray, a boy of nine- 
teen, whom the half-hearted pleas of his covenanting 
brother, Tullibardine, could not save.^"^ These gentle- 
men died as they had lived, constant in pride and 
courage. The night before his death old Sir Robert 
wrote a letter of farewell to Montrose, which breathes 
a spirit of Christian forbearance unfortunately lacking 
in those who had the name of religion always on their 
lips. " One thing I most humbly recommend to your 
Excellence that, as you have done always hitherto, so 
you will continue by fair and gentle carriage to gain 
the people's affection to their prince, rather than to 
imitate the barbarous inhumanity of your adversaries." 
The advice was nobly followed. There were no 
reprisals on the Covenant prisoners confined in the 
castle of Blair. " Never," ran Montrose's address to 
his troops, " shall they induce us to rival their crimes 
or seek to outdo them except in valour and renown." 
In a great civil struggle no side has a monopoly of 
the virtues. There were men in the Covenant ranks 
in whom the fire of religious faith had withered up all 
human fears, and who were to give an honourable 
proof to the world of the manhood that was in them. 


But in this matter of charity and mercy there can be 
little comparison for the candid historian between the 
two parties. Montrose's army may have been guilty 
of acts of cruelty in hot blood, but never at their worst 
did they approach the deadly, cold-hearted malice of 
the Kirk and the Estates. Twenty years later, when 
the Covenant was the losing side and the fanatics who 
now ruled in Edinburgh had been driven to the mosses, 
there must have been many old-fashioned quiet folk in 
the land who, casting back their memories to the days 
after Philiphaugh, saw in the change the slow grinding 
of the mills of God. In one respect the later persecu- 
tion, bad and indefensible as it was, fell short in 
grossness of the earlier. Its perpetrators in their evil 
work did not profane the name of the meek Gospel 
of Christ. 

For Montrose, defeat was only a spur to fresh effort. 
The flexible steel of his courage could not be bent or 
broken. From his refuge in Atholl he sent Erskine 
to recruit in Mar, and Douglas and Airlie to raise the 
Royalists of Angus. He made a fruitless effort to get 
into touch with Alastair, and he wrote again to Digby 
asking for horse. In Atholl the folk were busy 
with the late harvest, but the name of the viceroy 
was a spell and 400 followed him. The Gordon 
cavalry, as ever, was his principal aim. He hastened 
over the Grampians, and early in October was at 


Drumminor Castle near Strathbogie, where Aboyne, 
his late grievances apparently forgotten, joined him 
with 1,500 foot and 300 horse. A less welcome 
addition to the force appeared in the person of the 
unstable Lord Lewis. After Kilsyth Huntly had 
removed himself from the Strathnaver bogs and was 
now at his castle of Gight. He sent Montrose a tepid 
letter of congratulation, and for a moment it looked as 
if the chief of the Gordons had forgotten his jealousy. 
Meanwhile Middleton with 800 of Leslie's horse 
had marched north to the Aberdeenshire lowlands 
and was now lying at Turriff. Montrose had two 
alternatives before him. He could attack Middleton 
with his new army and settle with him before turning 
to Leslie. Such a course would protect the Gordon 
lands and might keep Huntly in good humour. On 
the other hand, his friends were prisoners in Glasgow, 
and unless he rescued them forthwith they would 
perish. Again, Leslie was the more formidable foe, 
and it was always Montrose's habit to meet the greater 
danger first. Besides, Leslie lay between him and the 
Border, and on the Border he still cherished vain 
dreams of meeting the king. Accordingly he gave 
marching orders for the south. 

Lewis Gordon with such of his clan as he could 
induce to follow him deserted on the second day. 
Aboyne remained for another day's march, but per- 
emptory letters arrived from his father calling him 


back. Huntly's insane jealousy had revived, and he 
would neither fight himself nor permit his men to fight 
under another leader. Montrose sent Lord Reay and 
young Irvine of Drum to reason with him, but they 
were unable to shake his purpose. The precious days 
were slipping past in this barren diplomacy, and on the 
22nd of October Montrose decided to advance without 
the Gordons. That night he lay at the Castleton of 
Braemar. Two days later he was on Lochearnside, 
where he must have heard that the first executions 
of his friends had already taken place. There also 
he received news that the king had at last made a 
desperate attempt to fulfil his promise. On the 
14th of October Digby and Langdale had set out 
from Welbeck with 1,500 horse. Next day they 
scattered Poyntz's infantry at Sherburn, but were in 
turn surprised and driven north in confusion to Skipton. 
Digby, with Nithsdale and Carnwath, resolved to make 
a wild dash for the Border, and in spite of a defeat at 
Carlisle, pushed on across Esk with a small party 
of horse. On the 22 nd he was as far north as 
Dumfries, but he did not stay long. He had no 
news of Montrose and far too much news of Leslie ; 
his men began to desert, and he himself was compelled 
to flee to the Isle of Man. On the day that Montrose 
left Braemar, Digby's raid had come to an inglorious 

Montrose's object was to prevent further executions, 


and the appearance of his force of 1,500, including 300 
horse, did indeed procure a postponement of the bloody 
work. He took up his quarters at Buchanan on Loch- 
lomondside — then the seat of the Covenanting Sir John 
Buchanan, but now the home of Montrose's descendants 
— and for several weeks threatened Glasgow. Leslie 
had 3,000 troops in the city, and Montrose with 
his raw levies did not dare to meet that veteran horse 
in open battle. It was a hopeless form of war, as he 
soon realized, and early in November he retired into 
Menteith. Presently he made a journey into Angus, 
and was hunted back by Middleton's dragoons. 
Historians have assumed that he went to attend his 
wife's funeral ; but, since Lady Montrose lived till 
1648, that explanation must be abandoned.^'^^ He 
returned to AthoU to find that his brother-in-law and 
closest friend, the old Lord Napier, had died at Fin- 
castle in his absence. Napier was over seventy years 
of age, and had spent his long and blameless life in 
the pursuit of humane arts and the service of his 
fellow-men. He was the wisest head in Scotland of 
his day, a staunch Presbyterian, an upholder of popular 
liberties, an exponent of the unpopular doctrine of 
toleration, the type of what the Covenanters might 
have been in happier circumstances. From his old 
friend's grave Montrose turned again to the weary 
business of chaffering with Huntly. He sent Sir John 
Dalziel to him to ask for a conference ; but Huntly, as 


shy as he was vain, seemed to fear to meet his rival 
and declined. Montrose resolved to see him at all costs, 
and early in December set off across the hills again. 

It was now midwinter, and the weather was bitterly 
cold — far colder, says Wishart, than his generation had 
ever known. The frost coated everything with ice, 
but did not make the streams the easier to cross, and 
that December passage of the Grampians lived in the 
memory of men who were no strangers to hardship. 
Their feet were clogged with snow ; the horses 
floundered in half-frozen bogs or crashed through 
the ice of mountain pools. Christmas that year, which 
saw the deaths of his friends at St. Andrews, found 
Montrose pursuing the evasive Huntly from one 
refuge to another. He looked for him in Strathbogie, 
but Huntly fled to the Bog of Gight. Thither 
Montrose followed, and the Gordon at bay was obliged 
to receive him. Under the spell of the viceroy's grace 
and courtesy the cloud of suspicion seemed to vanish. 
Huntly was roused to interest. He promised his 
support in the northern war, and offered to lead his 
men through the lowlands of Moray to the siege of 
Inverness, while Montrose marched down Strathspey. 
The capture of that town might fix Seaforth's loyalty, 
which once more was up for auction. Aboyne and 
Lewis wished, in Wishart's phrase, " damnation to 
themselves " if they failed the king in the future. 
They were to do their best to earn it. 


The operations of the year 1646 began therefore 
with good promise of success. That promise was not 
fulfilled. The next few months must have been 
among the most wretched in Montrose's life. With 
a heart still aching from the loss of his comrades, with 
a drenched and starving following, and with no news 
save the gloomiest from the south, he conducted an 
ineffective guerilla war up and down Speyside. There 
were one or two bold deeds, such as Black Pate's 
repulse of the Argyll men at Callander, and the young 
Lord Napier's defence of Kincardine Castle ; but for 
the most part these months are a record of forced 
inactivity and constant disappointments. The viceroy 
had no more than one thousand men, while Huntly 
had 2,000, including 600 horse, to do his idle 
biddings. The splendid fighting force of the Gordons 
was frittered away. Their chief refused to co- 
operate with Montrose, or indeed to undertake any 
serious operation of war except the siege of some little 
Morayshire castles to gratify private animosities. 
Montrose's patient letters to him are the only clues 
we have to the movements of the royal army.^"^ It 
was at Advie and Castle Grant in the end of December, 
moving about Strathspey in January, at Kyllachy on 
the Findhorn in February, and at Petty on the coast 
in March. Without Huntly's help Montrose could 
do nothing at Inverness, and without some signal 
victory he could 'not hope to recruit trimmers like 



Seaforth, Macleod of Skye, and Sir James Macdonald 
of Sleat. Middleton had come north again, Leslie 
having departed to England to look after arrears 
of pay, and the 1,400 men he brought with 
him, joined to those he had left, made a formidable 
army on the Royalist flank. It was the business 
of the Gordons to watch this force and prevent 
it crossing the Spey. But Huntly was busy with his 
private vendettas, and Lord Lewis, who held the castle 
of Rothes, amused himself by sending false news and 
playing tricks upon Montrose's oflficers. The viceroy 
narrowly escaped being caught at Inverness, and was 
compelled to flee into the mountains to the south and 
double back to Speyside. 

Matters had now reached a crisis. Huntly was not 
only no friend, he was becoming an active enemy, 
and Montrose resolved to treat him as such. But 
before taking any step he made one more efibrt to see 
him. On the 27th of May he rode twenty miles to 
the Bog of Gight, but Huntly saw him coming and 
fled. It was the last straw. Montrose decided to 
write off^ the Gordons from the royal strength in 
Scotland, and to let Middleton make of them what 
he pleased. He would form a light flying squadron 
and ride through the northern Highlands to beat up 
recruits for the king. It was a course which his 
wisest friends advised, and it would be strange if, 
with Glengarry and Clanranald to help him, he 


could not bring to the field as stout a force as 
that which had scattered the Covenant in a year of 

But on the 31st of May a fateful message arrived 
from the king. This is not the place to describe the 
alternations of hope and despair through which Charles 
passed, between Digby's fiasco in the north and that 
day in April when, besieged by Fairfax in Oxford and 
in fear of falling into the hands of the Independents, 
he resolved to cast himself upon the mercy of the 
Scots. Negotiations had been for long in progress 
with Montreuil, the French ambassador, as intermediary, 
but Leven and his friends while hinting at much, would 
commit nothing to writing. On the 5th of May, 
Charles, having escaped from Oxford in disguise, 
appeared in Leven's camp at Southwell. For what 
happened we have the evidence of an eye-witness, Sir 
James Turner. Before the king had eaten or drunk 
he was brought before the Covenanting committee, 
and Lothian, its president, at once formulated its 
demands. The Royalist garrison must surrender 
Newark, the king must sign the Covenant, and must 
command " James Graham " to lay down his arms. To 
this imperious speech Charles replied with the dignity 
that never failed him : " He that made thee an earl 
made James Graham a marquis." 

Then began that pathetic correspondence between 
the king who had done so little and his captain-general 


who had done so much. On the 19th of May he 
wrote to Montrose from Newcastle. 

" You must disband your forces and go into France, where you 
shall receive my further directions. This at first may justly startle 
you, but I assure you that if for the present I should offer to do 
more for you, I could not do so much." 

Montrose received this letter on Speyside on the 
31st day of May. He called a meeting of his officers, 
to which he in vain invited Huntly, and laid it before 
them. In his reply to the king he declared himself 
at his Majesty's commands, but asked that some pro- 
tection should be secured for those who had risked 
all in the royal cause. For himself he was willing 
" as well by passion as by action " to serve his master. 
Then he broke up his camp and marched to Glenshee 
to await the king's answer. Charles replied on the 
15th of June, repeating his commands and promising 
protection for Montrose's followers. On the i6th of 
July the king wrote again : — 

" The most sensible part of my misfortunes is to see my friends 
in d 'Stress and not to be able to help them, and of this you are the 
chief Wherefore, according to that real freedom and friendship 
which is between us, as I cannot absolutely command you to 
accept of unhandsome conditions, so I must tell you that I believe 
your refusal will put you in a far worse state than your compliance 
will. . . . For if this opportunity be let slip, you must not expect 
any more treaties. In which case you must either conquer all 
Scotland or be inevitably ruined. . . . Whereupon, if you find it 


fit to accept, you may justly say I have commanded you, and if 
you take another course you cannot expect that I can pubUcly 
avow you in it until I shall be able (which God knows how soon 
that may be) to stand upon my own feet ; but on the contrary, 
seem not to be well satisfied with your refusal, which I find clearly 
will bring all this army upon you — and then I shall be in a very 
sad condition, such as I shall rather leave to your judgment than 
seek to express." 

Towards the end of July Montrose met Middleton 

on the banks of the Isla to arrange terms. Middleton, 

who had fought under him long ago on the Covenant 

side at Aberdeen, was to stain his later record with 

many brutalities, but he had some of the instincts of 

a soldier. He granted better terms than might have 

been looked for. A free pardon was to be given to 

all the Royalists except the viceroy, Crawford, and Sir 

John Hurry, who since Kilsyth had been in Montrose's 

camp. These three were to leave the country before 

the first day of September, the Estates providing a 

vessel. All forfeited lands were to be restored, except 

to the three exempted, and to Graham of Gorthie, 

whose estate was already in the hands of Balcarres. 

Montrose accepted the conditions, and, assembling his 

army at Rattray near Blairgowrie, he bade his men 

farewell. He told them that what he did was for the 

king's sake, and by the king's command. It was a 

melancholy parting with those Highlanders of AthoU 

who had never failed him, and with comrades such as 


Airlie and Ogilvy and the young Napier, who in 

good and evil report had been true to their salt. For 

such men "passion" was a harder service than "action." 

The Committee of Estates, when they heard of 

Middleton's terms, were indignant that the "Lord's 

work " should be so grievously frustrated. They 

dared not repudiate their general, for Middleton was 

not a man to brook insults, and his force added 

to Montrose's would soon be hammering at the 

Edinburgh gates. But they resolved to defeat the 

bargain by chicanery. Montrose had received a private 

letter from the king bidding him defer his going until 

the last possible day, and during the month of August 

he busied himself in organizing the Royalist party that 

he might not leave Charles unbefriended in Scotland. 

But as the last days of the month approached he grew 

suspicious of the Covenant's good faith. There was 

no sign of the promised vessel, till "on the 3 1 st a 

ship put into Montrose harbour with a sullen master 

and a more sullen crew. English men-of-war, too, 

began to appear off the coast. When Montrose 

proposed to embark at once, the skipper declared that 

he must have a few days to caulk his vessel and attend 

to the rigging. This meant that the days of grace 

would be exceeded and the viceroy left stranded — an 

outlaw at the mercy of his enemies. Happily a small 

Norwegian sloop was on the same day in the harbour 

of Stonehaven, and its master, one Jens Gunnersen, 
(1,744) 14 


announced his willingness to sail with the exiles. 
Hurry, Wishart, and Drummond of Balloch ; Harry 
Graham, Montrose's half-brother ; John Spottiswoode, 
one of the nephews whom old Sir Robert had entrusted 
to the viceroy's charge ; three of Montrose's captains, 
Lisle or Lillie, whom we shall meet afterwards at Carbis- 
dale, Melvin, and Guthrie ; a Frenchman, Lasound, 
who had been Lord Gordon's valet ; and a German 
servant called Rudolf made up the little party. The 
sloop sailed down to Montrose Roads, and that evening 
Mr. James Wood, a minister, and his servant put off 
from the shore and were taken aboard. The servant 
was Montrose. "This," says Wishart, "was in the 
year of our Lord 1 646, and the thirty-fourth of his age." 


(September 1646-March 1650.) 


After a week's tossing in the North Sea Montrose 
reached the Norwegian port of Bergen, where he found 
a Scot, one Thomas Gray, in command of the castle. 
His aim was to visit Denmark to meet Christian the 
Fifth, with whom, as the uncle of Charles, he might 
confer on his next step. He had sheathed his sword 
at his master's bidding, but his life was still dedicated 
to the cause, and from that devotion there could be no 
release but death. From Bergen the exiles made their 
way overland to Christiania, probably sailing up the 
Sognefjord to Leardalsoren, and then crossing the 
backbone of mountains by the Leardal valley and 
Valders. When he reached Copenhagen he found that 
King Christian was in Germany, so he crossed to 
Hamburg and waited there some months. Before he 
left Scotland he had sent Crawford to Henrietta Maria 


in Paris with a proposal to raise the clans and save the 
king from his captors. He was also awaiting those 
credentials as ambassador to France which Charles had 
promised him. But the circle of parasites and adven- 
turers who surrounded the queen were very resolute 
that Montrose should not break in upon their follies 
with his untimely zeal. At Jermyn's instigation 
Ashburnham was sent to meet him in Germany with a 
vague proposal that he should return to Scotland and 
renew the war. As no reference was made to his 
own proposals sent through Crawford, Montrose natu- 
rally refused to engage in an enterprise for which he 
had no resources and no warrant from his master. 
Ashburnham then suggested that he should make his 
peace with the Covenanters, following the royal prece- 
dent. The proposal was indignantly repudiated. " Not 
even the king," he said, "should command his obedience 
in what was dishonourable, unjust, and destructive to 
his Majesty himself." 

Early in the year 1 647, tired of waiting on instruc- 
tions that never came, he set out for Paris. The queen 
received him graciously, but made it very clear that his 
counsels were not those most grateful to the royal ears. 
Jermyn and the rest gave him tepid smiles and the cold 
shoulder. To one of his temper the mingled silliness 
and vice of Henrietta's court must have been repulsive 
in the extreme. The king was a captive, the flower of 
English and Scottish chivalry had died for his sake, and 

^o ll'uic^ ^^zU^^^i^ 'Cy^ /i^^ty?9u^y^u?n/ c^u^J C7n£iUe/> rJl^i/ce^- 


these mountebanks were turning life into a thing of 
backstairs gossip and idle laughter. It was suggested 
that his niece Lilias Napier should become a maid of 
honour, but Montrose sternly forbade it. " There is 
neither Scots man nor woman welcome that way ; 
neither would any of honour or virtue, chiefly a woman, 
suffer themselves to live in so lewd and worthless a 
place." But if the tawdry court-in-exile had little to 
say to him, Paris made amends. His fame had gone 
abroad throughout Europe, and the most distinguished 
men in France came to pay him their respects. He 
was given precedence before the regular ambassadors. 
Cardinal de Retz, who had followed his campaigns 
with admiration, welcomed him as a Roman hero re- 
born in a degenerate world. The great Mazarin 
offered him the command of the Scots in France and 
a lieutenant-generalship in the French army ; then the 
captaincy of the gendarmes, with a large pension ; and, 
last, the captaincy of the king's own guard and the 
rank of marshal of France. The young Napier, who 
had now joined him, was eager that he should accept. 
A dazzling career opened before him, for with his 
talents in the field he might look to be a second 
Conde, the rich and idolized head of a great army, 
and not the discredited captain of a few ragged exiles. 
But to enter the French service meant in common 
decency to give up all thoughts of any other, and his 
sword had been dedicated and was not his own to sell. 


Meanwhile in Scotland strange things were happen- 
ing. Early in the year the Scots army, as Montrose 
had anticipated, had handed over the king to the 
English Parliament, and the carts laden with the de- 
ferred pay of Leven's soldiers and subsidies for Cove- 
nanting nobles were soon rumbling across the Border. 
In June the king passed from the Parliament to the 
control of Cromwell's army. The event alarmed the 
more moderate of the Covenanters, and that party 
began to reveal the characteristic of all factions, and 
split in two. Hamilton had returned to Scotland, and 
was busy making a party of those who favoured the 
Covenant but did not favour Cromwell, and professed 
devotion to the principle of monarchy. On December 
27, 1647, in Charles's prison at Carisbrooke a secret 
engagement was entered into, with Lanark, Loudoun, 
and Lauderdale as signatories. When the Estates 
assembled in March of 1 648 the Engagers had a large 
majority, and Argyll and the more fanatical leaders of 
the Kirk found themselves isolated. The Estates 
ordered the raising of an army to rescue the king ; the 
extreme Covenanters went into open rebellion, and in 
May inspired a riot in the westlands at Mauchline 
which was quelled with difficulty by Middleton. The 
Covenant was finding enemies within its own borders, 
and it looked as if out of the strife of sects a moderate 
royalism might yet come by its own. 

One of the first steps taken by the Engagers was to 


communicate with Henrietta and the Prince of Wales. 
The queen did not inform Montrose of their proposals 
till she had made up her mind to accept them and had 
already committed herself. He knew too much of 
Hamilton to look for great things in that quarter, but 
he offered to do all in his power to save the situation 
by enlisting under his own banner those Royalists who 
would enlist under no other, and by supporting the 
Engagers in the field. Hamilton's envoys, however, 
had warned the queen that Montrose must have no 
share in the business, and his offer was coldly declined. 
In despair he looked elsewhere for a man's work, and 
forgot his former scruples about entering foreign service. 
If his master would not have him — if, indeed, as the 
queen seemed to hint, he was a positive hindrance to 
the Royalist cause — then the way was clear to look 
elsewhere. He had doubts about the French service. 
Mazarin and his friends were half-hearted in Charles's 
cause, and too cordial in their treatment of the English 
Parliament. So in the early spring of 1648 he slipped 
away from Paris with some of his friends, and travelled 
by Geneva and Tyrol to the Emperor's court at Vienna. 
Wishart's Latin account of the annus mirabilis of 
1644-5 had been published, probably in Holland, 
towards the close of 1647, and had leaped at once 
into a wide popularity. The doings of the Scottish 
soldier were the talk of every court and camp in 
Europe, and at the Imperial Court Montrose found 


himself welcomed as a hero. The Emperor Ferdinand, 
whom he found at Prague, gave him the crimson baton 
of a marshal of the Empire, and empowered him to 
levy troops in any quarter of his dominions. Europe 
at the time was filled with the debris of great armies, 
and with the magic of his name there was likely to be 
little dearth of recruits. The Emperor's brother, the 
Archduke Leopold, was governor of the Spanish 
Netherlands, and Montrose was advised that the 
western border of the Empire was the place for his 
purpose. It had the further merit of being nearer 
Britain in case of a summons from home. Germany 
was too much harassed with wars to make easy travel- 
ling, so Montrose returned by Cracow and Dantzig to 
Denmark, and thence by way of Groningen to Brussels. 
He found the Archduke at Tournay, but it was his 
fortune to look for help from those who at the moment 
had none to offer. As he had met Rupert on the 
morrow of Marston Moor, so he found Leopold on 
the morrow of Lens, where on the 20th of August the 
genius of Conde had scattered the imperial forces. He 
accordingly returned to Brussels, where he received 
startling news from Scotland. Hamilton and the 
Engagers had marched into England on the 8th of 
July with more than ten thousand men, including the 
veterans of Baillie and Monro — the largest force which 
had yet crossed the Scottish Border. His campaign 
had been one long series of blunders, and on the 17th 


of August Cromwell, having in Montrose*s fashion 
made a rapid flank march over the Lancashire hills, 
had fallen upon him at Preston. His army was in 
flight or in captivity, and he himself was a prisoner, 
while Cromwell was marching north to settle with 
Lanark and receive the welcome of the extreme Cove- 
nanters. Argyll had begun that alliance with Oliver 
which was to bring him in the end to the scaffbld. 

The tidings revived in Montrose the old eagerness 
to strike another blow for the king. He was now at 
Brussels, and during the winter of 1648 was in constant 
correspondence with Rupert. There was no word, 
however, from the queen and the Prince of Wales : 
they had still hopes of the Engagers, and feared to 
ofi^end them by any intercourse with their deadly 
enemy. Presently the young Charles emancipated 
himself from his mother and her set, and took up 
his residence with Hyde at the Hague. Montrose 
had friends who had the young prince's ear, and early 
in the new year he received a message from him, 
bidding him arrange to meet Hyde for a secret inter- 
view. The prince had entered upon the policy of 
keeping two strings to his bow. While holding the 
Engagers in play, he wished to have Montrose as a 
last resort ; but, as the insistence on secrecy shows, he 
was desperately anxious to make the former believe 
that he looked only to them. Montrose replied that 
he would joyfully obey the summons, but implored the 


prince to distinguish true loyalty from false. "If your 
highness shall but vouchsafe a little faith unto your 
loyal servants, and stand at guard with others, your 
affairs can soon be whole." This was on the 28th of 
January. Two days later, on a snowy afternoon, in 
Whitehall, the king's head fell on the scaffold. 


From the day when he heard from Hyde the news 
of the tragedy almost to the close of his life a strange 
oppression settled upon Montrose. He became " fey," 
with a sense of dark fate hovering ever about him. 
He had been no sentimental cavalier ; he did not 
believe in Divine Right ; and to him the Lord's 
Anointed had none of the sanctity which he possessed 
for many Royalists. But out of his inner consciousness 
he had created the figure of an ideal monarch, wise 
with a wisdom to which no earthly king ever attained, 
a personification of those dreams which had always 
haunted his soul. He had, too, the devotion of a 
loyal soldier to the master for whom he had risked 
so much. But, more than all, he saw in the tragedy 
the darkening of the skies over his unhappy land. 
The savage and stupid barbarism of the Covenant, 
which had revelled in blood in the Lord's name, now 
seemed at last to have reached omnipotence, for it had 


destroyed the centre of all civil order. Henceforth 
there could be no compromise. He knew nothing of 
the folly and duplicity which preceded Charles's final 
heroism; his rejection of compromises which would 
have secured to him all that was most worthy in his 
cause ; his futile search for allies who were alike 
perjured and impotent; and his double-dealing toward 
those who had on their side both honesty and power. 
He saw only the shedding of innocent blood, which 
must make a breach for all time between those who 
loved righteousness and those who pursued iniquity. 
When he heard the news he fainted among his friends. 
For two days he kept his chamber, and when Wishart 
entered he found on the table these lines : — 

" Great, good, and just, could I but rate 
My grief, and thy too rigid fate, 
I'd weep the world in such a strain 
As it should deluge once again. 
But since thy loud-tongued blood demands supplies 
More from Briareus' hands than Argus' eyes, 
I'll sing thine obsequies with trumpet sounds 
And write thine epitaph in blood and wounds." 

Henceforth there is an uncanniness about him, as of 
one who lived half his time in another world. He has 
himself painted in coal-black armour ; his eyes have a 
fire which changes their cool greyness into something 
wilder and fiercer ; all youthful weaknesses seem purged 


away, for his patience becomes unearthly and his 
gentleness unhuman. He has the air of a " fey " man, 
one for whom the barriers between the seen and the 
unseen are breaking down. 

In the middle of February he met Hyde at Seven- 
bergen. Hyde never liked him as Nicholas and 
Hopton did, and in the writings of the future Lord 
Clarendon admiration is always tinged with acid ; but 
he was a loyal servant of the new king, and he recog- 
nized capacity when he saw it. A little later Montrose 
was at the Hague, where the young Charles was already 
in the midst of Scottish intrigues. The result of the 
king's death had been to send a wave of loyalty over 
Scotland. On the 4th of February Charles the Second 
was proclaimed at the market cross of Edinburgh by 
the Covenanting chancellor. There had always been 
an odd Royalism flickering through the nation, often 
in the most unlikely places. The king was a poor 
thing, but their own, like the misguided Covenant. 
It might be well for his own people, the Scots, to take 
order with him, but it was high treason in those who 
hated Scotland as much as they hated Charles. The 
feeling was on a level with the later Jacobitism, an 
assertion of nationality on the part of a small, proud, 
bitterly poor country, jealous of its rich neighbour, 
not yet confident in itself. It was sentimental, not 
reasoned, and was found even among the extreme 
Covenanters. Mr. Blair of St. Andrews was anxious 


to attend Charles on the scaffold. " He made his 
account to die with the king, and would as willingly 
have laid down his head to the hatchet as ever he laid 
his head to a pillow." ^^^^ In 1660 we find Mr. Robert 
Baillie writing to Mr. David Dickson : — " If my lord 
Argyll at this strait should desert the king ... I 
think, and many more with me of the best I speak 
with, that it would be a fearful sin in him, which God 
will revenge." ^'5^ No doubt in ministerial breasts loyalty 
was intertwined with the Covenant, but it was loyalty 
of a kind. Hamilton's death on the scaffold early in 
1649 intensified the feeling of national exasperation 
which Preston had kindled. The luckless duke was 
not a brilliant figure. His epitaph has been spoken 
by Mistress Alison Wilson in Old Mortality — "That 
was him that lost his head at London. Folks said 
that it wasna a very gude ane, but it was aye a 
sair loss to him, puir gentleman." It had been 
prophesied — and the prophecy had hag-ridden his mind 
— that he would succeed the king ; but he fell heir 
not to a throne, but to a scaffold. Montrose, watching 
Scotland from a distance, must have believed that the 
aspect of affairs was more promising than ever before. 
There were, indeed, no Gordons to appeal to. Huntly 
had at last fallen into Argyll's hands and had suffered 
death, lamenting pathetically at the end that he had 
done so little in life for the cause he died for. Aboyne 
was in exile, dying of a broken heart, and the Gordon 


lands were in the power of Lord Lewis, who was soon 
to make his peace with his uncle. But the great 
northern clan of Mackenzie was hopeful. Its chief, 
Seaforth, had arrived at the exiled court, and his 
brother, Mackenzie of Pluscardine, had raised his men 
in March, and along with Reay and Ogilvy had taken 
Inverness and given much trouble to David Leslie. 
They were soon to be scattered, but the hope of the 
Mackenzies remained. Most important of all, the 
young king had turned a cold shoulder to Argyll's 
emissary. Sir Joseph Douglas, who arrived at the 
Hague on the 20th of February, and had confirmed 
Montrose in his old commission of lieutenant-governor 
and captain-general of Scotland. 

But the royal favour was to prove a fickle thing. 
During the next few months the Hague was the battle- 
ground of contending factions. There were three 
parties in Scottish politics : the rigid Covenanters, with 
Argyll at their head ; the Engagers, whose emissaries 
to Holland were Lanark and Lauderdale ; and the 
Royalists, sans phrase^ who looked to Montrose. In 
March the envoys of the Estates arrived, Cassilis and 
Mr. Robert Baillie, who with many protestations of 
loyalty demanded as the price of kingship the signature 
of the Solemn League and Covenant and the repudiation 
of "James Graham." The Engagers thought these 
terms unreasonable, but the second figured also in their 
own modest demands. Lanark, indeed — now Duke of 


^-- -w 
















Hamilton in his brother's stead — was willing to serve 
under the greatest commander of the day ; but Lauder- 
dale's pure soul had been shocked (so he said) by 
Montrose's barbarities, though on cross-examination 
he was unable to give any instances. The man whose 
filthy table-talk was the byword of the Restoration 
court, and whose brutalities were to make his name 
a scandal in his own land, had some cause to dislike 
a character so immeasurably beyond his comprehension. 
Charles demanded an opinion from both the Royalists 
and the Engagers as to the conditions of the Estates. 
Montrose's reply is still extant, and differs in no way 
from the other remonstrances and declarations through 
which he had already published his faith to the world. 
It traced the whole history of the Covenant movement, 
from its justifiable beginnings to its impossible end; it 
pointed out that the Covenanters demanded from the 
king a renunciation of his own private form of worship, 
" and yet they made it a ground of rebellion against 
your royal father that they but imagined he intended 
to meddle with them after the like kind." The docu- 
ment was read in Charles's council on the 21st of May, 
the terms of the Estates were rejected, and Montrose 
was appointed admiral of the Scottish Seas. 

Apparently the king had made up his mind. He 
had rejected Argyll, and, having accepted Montrose, 
had also rejected the Engagers. He stood committed 
now to some such bold attempt as his captain-general 


had always urged. Montrose and the Royalists in 
general wished Charles to join Ormonde in Ireland, 
but the king favoured an invasion of Scotland, desiring, 
as we now know, to have another asset in bargaining 
with the Covenanters. In the wars of the Middle 
Ages both sides on the eve of peace endeavoured to 
take as many fortresses as possible in order to have 
something to give up when the day of renunciation 
came. So it was with Charles now. The intrigues 
still went on, though their venue was removed to Paris 
and the court of Henrietta. Jermyn seems to have 
patched up a friendship with the new Hamilton, and 
attempted to get Montrose's commission of viceroyalty 
annulled in his favour. " They are all mad, or worse," 
wrote Elisabeth of Bohemia ; and the judgment is not 
too severe for that nest of futile and selfish schemers. 
Montrose during these months, with his heart still 
burning with the memory of the scene in Whitehall, 
must have found the times sorely out of joint for an 
honest man. Some loyal friends he had, such as 
Napier and Kinnoul, and he was much in the company 
of Elisabeth herself. We are fortunate in possessing 
many letters written to him by that "Queen of Hearts " 
— and sorrows.^^°^ It is a curiously intimate correspon- 
dence. She rallies the grave cavalier, invites him to 
archery meetings at her country home, and gives him 
the news of the court from the standpoint of an 
assiduous well-wisher. It was at her request that he 


sat for the splendid Honthorst portrait, which she 
hung in her cabinet that it might " frighten away the 
Brethren." The lady whom Sir Henry Wotton had 
sung in imperishable verse had lost little of her beauty 
and none of her wit with the passage of years. There 
is small likelihood that Montrose, as was rumoured, 
fell in love with one of her daughters, the Princess 
Louise.^^'^ That chapter in his life had been closed 
long ago. But in the mother of Rupert and Maurice 
he found one who was a perpetual stimulus to honour 
and great deeds, and it was a joy to him in that rabble 
of half-hearted casuists to meet a clear and dauntless 


The preparations for the last campaign began early 
in June. Charles had promised that he would do 
nothing in any of his negotiations to prejudice Mont- 
rose's commission as viceroy of Scotland, and he had 
further nominated him his ambassador to the northern 
courts. Recruits there were in plenty — mercenary Scots 
who had fought in the German wars and were only too 
anxious to sell their swords ; patriotic Scots such as 
Gustavus's old colonel, John Gordon, who longed to 
strike a blow for their country. But foreign troops 

and foreign money were necessary, and to secure these 
(1.74*) 15 


Montrose sent his emissaries far and wide. His half- 
brother, Harry Graham, was dispatched to the Elector 
of Brandenburg, and got the promise of a large sum. 
In August Kinnoul, with 80 officers and 100 Danish 
recruits, set sail for the 'Orkneys. The reason for the 
choice of such a base is clear. The islanders were 
strangers to the religious strife of the mainland, and 
Lord Morton, the feudal superior, was Kinnoul's 
uncle and well-disposed to the Royalist cause. The 
Commonwealth navy, occupied with preventing Rupert's 
escape from Ireland, was less likely to interfere with 
the transports if their route lay so far to the north. 
Further, the adjacent mainland was not far from the 
Mackay and Mackenzie country, and Montrose looked 
for support from both clans. If he could command the 
northern apex of Scotland, then Leslie to meet him 
would have to march through the hostile hill country, 
and in the event of a Royalist victory the whole High- 
lands would rise as one man. 

After bidding the Queen of Bohemia farewell at her 
castle of Rhenen, Montrose himself arrived at Hamburg 
early in September. Here he negotiated for supplies 
with the Duke of Courland, and presently set off to 
Schleswig to meet Frederick, the new king of Denmark. 
He lingered some time at Copenhagen, for his diplomacy 
was a slow business, and there he had news of Kinnoul's 
successful landing. Morton had welcomed him with 
open arms, and all was going well for the cause. The 


common people of Scotland, so Kinnoul reported, were 
on the brink of revolt against their masters. " Your 
Lordship is gaped after with that expectation that the 
Jews look for the Messiah, and certainly your presence 
will restore your groaning country to its liberties and 
the king to his rights." But he had other news less 
pleasing. Charles wrote from St. Germain instructing 
him to go on with the work of his commission, and 
" not to be startled with any reports you may hear, as 
if I were otherwise inclined to the Presbyterians than 
when I left you." Henrietta was at St. Germain, and 
Montrose knew too well her notions of policy. He 
feared that reports of a treaty with the Covenanters 
would utterly dishearten the Scottish loyalists, and to 
counteract such a danger he prepared the last and most 
famous of his declarations. It is well worth reading, 
if only for the spirit of unclouded courage that 
inspires it. He is as confident of the sacredness of 
his mission as any Covenant minister. He summons 
all true Scottish hearts to make a last effort to break 
their bonds, " resolving with Joab to play the man for 
their people and the cities of their God." The declara- 
tion was circulated in Edinburgh in December, and 
Johnston of Wariston published a reply .^^-^ His chief 
argument is to describe Montrose as " that viperous 
brood of Satan whom the Church hath delivered into 
the hands of the devil, and the nation doth generally 
detest and abhor." For the Kirk's ban Montrose cared 


little, but the suspicion and dislike of the Lowlands 
were to prove his undoing. 

In November he was at the court of Queen Christina 
of Sweden, Gustavus's daughter, and Descartes's erratic 
disciple. He took up his quarters at Gothenburg, 
where a Scottish merchant, one John Maclear, put his 
wealth and influence at his disposal. Early in December 
a ship arrived from the Orkneys with melancholy news. 
David Leslie had marched north to Caithness in the 
end of October, and had written to Kinnoul advising 
him to depart while there was yet time. The letter 
was ordered to be burned by the hangman, and Leslie 
went south without crossing the Pentland Firth. But 
on the 1 2th of November the loyal Morton died, 
and a few days later Kinnoul followed him to the 
grave. The loss of his brave friend and " passionate 
servant " was a heavy blow to Montrose, but Sir James 
Douglas, who arrived in the Orkney ship, brought 
good news of the general feeling in Scotland. He 
implored Montrose to sail at once, for " his own 
presence was able to do the business, and would un- 
doubtedly bring 20,000 men together for the king's 
service, all men being weary and impatient to live any 
longer under that bondage, pressing down their estates, 
their persons, and their consciences." The viceroy may 
well have believed a report so consonant with his 
desires. His ardour was always prone to minimize 
difficulties, and he had no wise old Napier to tell 


him that the feelings of Sir James Douglas and the 
gentry were scarcely an index to the temper of the 
burgesses and the peasantry, wearied out with poverty 
and the terrors of an Old Testament God. 

In December he made an effort to leave. Transports 
were indeed dispatched with Danish troops and Scottish 
officers, as well as ammunition and stands of arms, and 
the wild weather they encountered gave rise to tales of 
shipwreck which gladdened the heart of the Estates. 
He wrote to Seaforth on the 15th of December, saying 
that he meant to sail for Scotland next day. But the winds 
were contrary and ice blocked the harbour, and it was 
not till January 10, 1650, that he actually embarked 
in the Herderinnan, a frigate which Maclear had bought 
for him. Still he did not start, and on the i8th we find 
him living in Maclear's house on shore. We know now 
the reason of that delay which so puzzled the Swedish 
statesmen and the spies of the Commonwealth. He 
had received word that a dispatch was on its way to 
him from the king in Jersey. For such a message he 
could not choose but wait. 

He sailed eventually in the middle of March. 
Whether he received the king's letter before he left 
or on his arrival in the Orkneys is a disputed point,^^^^ 
but the odds are that he got it in Gothenburg, though 
his reply is dated from Kirkwall. It was dispatched on 
the 1 2th of January, and with it came the George and 
the blue riband of the Garter. There were two letters, 


one to be shown to his friends and the other a private 
note for Montrose's own eyes, and copies of the corres- 
pondence with the Commissioners of the Estates were en- 
closed. As to the first letter, it had already been published 
in French in Paris, and a fortnight earlier a precis had 
been in the hands of the Commonwealth Government. 
In it the king informed his viceroy of the negotiations 
with the Estates and the chance of a treaty. Montrose, 
however, is assured that *' we will not, before or during 
the Treaty, do anything contrary to that power and 
authority which we have given you by our commission, 
nor consent to anything that may bring in the least 
degree of diminution to it ; and if the said Treaty 
should produce an agreement, we will, with our utter- 
most care, so provide for the honour and interest of 
yourself, and of all that shall engage with you, as shall 
let the whole world see the high esteem we have of 
you." It ends with an exhortation " to proceed vigor- 
ously and effectively in your undertaking ; " and then 
the reason is made clear : " We doubt not but all our 
loyal and well-affected subjects of Scotland will cordially 
and effectually join with you, and by that addition of 
strength either dispose those who are otherwise minded to 
make reasonable demands to us in a Treaty^ or be able to 
force them to it by arms, in case of their obstinate 
refusal." He wanted an asset to bargain with, a second 
string to his bow. The private note merely assured 
the recipient that Charles would never consent to 


anything to his prejudice, and bade him not to take 
alarm at "any reports or messages from others." 

It was a clear instruction to proceed with the invasion 
of Scotland, but it had an ugly look of double-dealing. 
The warning against reports argued that something had 
been done or said to give good cause for reports. But 
Montrose, singularly regardless of self, thought only 
of the danger to the king — the risk that by trusting his 
enemies he might walk into the same trap as his father. 
In his reply from Kirkwall, on the 26th of March,^^'*^ 
he besought his master " to have a serious eye (now at 
last) upon the too open crafts are used against you, 
chiefly in this conjuncture, and that it would please 
your Majesty to be so just to yourself, as ere you make 
a resolve upon your affairs or your person, your 
Majesty may be wisely pleased to hear the zealous 
opinions of your faithful servants, who have nothing 
in their hearts, nor before their eyes, but the joy of 
your Majesty's prosperity and greatness, which shall 
be ever the only passion and study of your most sacred 
Majesty's most humble, faithful, and most passionate 
subject and servant." What Montrose did not know 
was that the king's letter had been published, and was 
now sown broadcast over Scotland. It is one thing 
to fight in a crusade ; it is another to conduct a cam- 
paign whose avowed -purpose is no more than to create 
an asset to bargain with. On such mercantile terms 
you cannot conjure the spirit that wins battles. Well 


might Mr. Secretary Nicholas write to Ormonde : 
" Some (not without reason) apprehend that the report 
of the now approaching Treaty will make those of the 
better sort forbear to appear for him, until they shall 
see the issue of this Treaty." ^^5) The dice had been 
loaded against the venture before it was begun. The 
king had sent Montrose to his death. 



(March-May 1650.) 

It has been the fashion among historians to describe 
the last campaign as doomed from the start. So in a 
sense it was, but its hopelessness did not lie in the 
actual military and political situation in Scotland at 
the moment. That had never been more favourable. 
Montrose was, indeed, as far off as ever from com- 
mending himself and his faith to that Covenanting 
bourgeoisie J which he never lost the hope of converting. 
But the arm of the Covenant was growing slack. 
Hamilton's march to Preston had depleted the fighting 
strength of the Lowlands, and had driven a wedge into 
the Estates. Many nobles who had once obeyed Argyll 
were now prepared to follow him only in so far as he 
allied himself with the king. The incredible folly of 
Covenanting government, as seen in such performances 
as the Acts of Classes, had disgusted all moderate 
men. A real bitterness against England had surged 
up in the nation, and this meant popularity for 


Charles, and a fall in esteem for those who had 
meddled with Charles's enemies. The Estates had 
no money to pay troops ; every burgh in the south 
had been bled white with taxation and was furious with 
the Edinburgh junta. Of the former Covenant generals, 
Baillie had been an Engager, and Hurry was now one 
of Montrose's companions. Only Leslie remained, with 
his lieutenants Holbourn and Strachan, and he had at 
the most three thousand foot and fourteen hundred 
horse strung out over a wide front in the northern 
Highlands. When Montrose sent Crawford to 
Henrietta in the autumn of 1646 he sent with him 
an estimate ^^^^ of what forces might be raised for the 
king in Scotland. Leaving out 2,000 from Antrim, 
it reached the large total of 21,400 men. He counted 
on 2,000 Macleans, 1,300 from Clanranald, 3,000 from 
Atholl. There were uncertain items, it is true, like 
the 1,000 who were credited to Lord Nithsdale, the 
2,000 to Macdonald of Sleat, the 1,500 to Huntly, 
and the 2,000 to Seaforth ; but, putting all doubtful 
elements aside, it looked as if in the Highlands alone 
he could count on 10,000 men. Things had improved 
since the date of that estimate. The clan of Mackenzie 
had risen with Pluscardine, and might rise again, for 
though their chief was not in the venture yet he was 
not hostile. Again, if Montrose got one quarter of 
the levies and supplies promised him on the Continent, 
if he got one-eighth of the help hinted at from Ireland, 


he would put in the field from four thousand to five 
thousand regular troops as well. Leslie was in a miser- 
able position both for attack and defence, and defeat 
to him would mean annihilation. For Montrose to 
succeed it was essential that he should have sufficient 
troops in the far north to win the first round. If that 
happened, he might count on the Macleods and the 
Mackenzies ; probably, too, on the Gordons ; and then 
the safety of his route to the south would be assured. 
Once in Badenoch he had all the loyal levies of the 
west and of Atholl to draw upon, and with the Low- 
lands divided it was hard to see what could prevent him 
from dominating Scotland. Then let Cromwell return 
from Ireland with his weary troops and meet him. 
We know to-day, what was then not understood, how 
little hold the army of the Commonwealth had upon 
the affections of the English people. Of the two 
leaders Montrose was the greater military genius, and 
if with 20,000 Highland and foreign foot and Lowland 
horse he had met Cromwell somewhere in Yorkshire, 
the odds are that the Restoration would have been 
antedated by ten years. 

As it chanced, every condition of success was to fail. 
He had far too few foreign troops, the local clans did 
not rise in his support, and there was no sign of move- 
ment in the Lowlands. Scotland stood idly by and 
looked on. The king's letter and the personal jealousy 
of the nobles had done their work. Men were weary 


of fighting and half-hearted in any cause. The satiety 
which attended the Restoration was beginning. Let 
them be shown a way of peace and they would acclaim 
it ; but meantime it was the duty of cautious folk to 
stay at home. 

The king might handicap and betray him, but 
Montrose was true to himself. For him there could 
be no turning back on this side the grave, for he had 
been to the end of the world and looked over the other 
side. The " waft of death " had gone out against him, 
and all his doings have a touch of wildness. He devised 
strange standards. His foot bore on a black ground the 
bleeding head of the dead king with the motto T)eo et 
victricihus rArmis. The cavalry colours, too, were black, 
with three pairs of clasped hands holding three drawn 
swords, and the motto Quos pietas virtus et honor fecit 
amicos. His own flag was of white damask, with two 
steep rocks and a river between, and a lion about to 
leap from one to the other. His motto was Nil medimn. 
He was about to put it to the touch, as he had sung, 
" to win or lose it all." There was an air of doom and 
desperation in everything, as of some dark Saga of the 

The early days of April were spent in marshalling 
his little force. There were four or five hundred Danish 
troops already in the Orkneys.^^^^ The Orcadians, then 
very far from being a warlike people, raised 1,000 men, 
for the king's cause was welcomed gladly by all classes 


in the islands. With Montrose were a number of 
cavaliers and soldiers of fortune — Lord Frendraught, 
his old opponent at Aberdeen ; a brother of Charteris 
of Amisfield ; Sir William Johnston ; Colonel Thomas 
Gray, a mercenary of the German wars ; his half- 
brother, Harry Graham ; Hurry, now threefold a turn- 
coat ; Hay of Dalgetty ; Drummond of Balloch ; the 
new Kinnoul ; Ogilvy of Powrie ; Menzies of Pit- 
foddels ; Douglas, a brother of Lord Morton's ; and 
one or two English Royalists such as Major Lisle. 
These gentlemen were mounted and made up the 
whole cavalry of the force, probably some forty or fifty 
in all. Hurry was dispatched in advance with a picked 
body of 500 men to look into the chances of a landing 
on the mainland. He found no difficulty, and, hasten- 
ing on, secured the Ord of Caithness, the narrow 
pass on the shore through which ran the road to 
the south. 

Montrose with the rest of his army followed about the 
1 2th of April. It was his business, seeing that his forces 
were so inadequate, to push on with the greatest possible 
speed, so as to pass the low coastlands and reach the 
shelter of the hills, where the Covenant horse could do 
him no harm and reinforcements could be awaited. 
Leslie held the castles of Brahan, Chanonry, Eilandonan, 
and Cromarty ; and the Earl of Sutherland, who was 
hot for the Covenant, garrisoned Dunrobin, Skibo, and 
Dornoch. If Montrose marched with his old speed, 


another week would find him in Badenoch. At first 
his movements were rapid enough. Landing at John 
o' Groats he dashed upon Thurso, and the local gentry, 
except the Sinclairs, took the oath of allegiance. Leav- 
ing Harry Graham with 200 men to keep them to their 
word, he marched south through Caithness to Sir John 
Sinclair's castle of Dunbeath, took it after a few days' 
siege, and left a garrison. He had about eight hundred 
men left when he joined Hurry at the Ord of Caithness. 
He summoned Sutherland's castle of Dunrobin, but 
admission was denied, and the place was too strong to 
take. Now began his fatal delay. He did not dare 
to face the garrisons of the Dornoch lowlands, so he 
turned inland up the glen of the Fleet, past Rhaoine 
to Lairg at the foot of Loch Shin. He was hoping for 
recruits from the Monroes and the Rosses, and above 
all from the great clan of Mackenzie. In the last days 
of April, or the beginning of May in the new style,^^^^ 
he began his march from the valley of the Shin to Strath 
Oykell. There the Mackenzies must be awaiting him, 
and in any case to go south he must turn the long inlet 
known as the Kyle of Sutherland. 

Meantime Leslie was hurrying north to a rendezvous 
at Brechin which he had appointed for the 25th of April. 
He instructed Strachan and Halkett, who commanded 
the Covenant troops in Moray, to do their best to 
check Montrose's advance, so Strachan with the gar- 
risons of Brahan and Chanonry came north to Tain, 

iDuncansbiiy I Irt 

— _„ Jeton=:.--/ » -• „ 

Montrose's March 
Strachans March 


^ c 


Scale or AJu'es 


where he was joined by other Covenant garrisons. He 
had 220 horse, all veterans, 36 musketeers of Lawers' 
regiment, and a reserve of 400 Monroes and Rosses 
whom Montrose had vainly hoped to attach to his 
standard. Sutherland was sent north of the Kyle to 
oppose Harry Graham, and cut off the way of retreat 
in that direction. 

On Saturday, the 27th of April, Strachan marched west 
from Tain to a place called Wester Fearn on the southern 
shore of the Kyle, some few miles south-east of Bonar 
Bridge and the mouth of the river Carron. Leslie 
only left Brechin on the same day. Montrose had 
marched down Strath Oykell to a spot near the head 
of the Kyle on its south side under the lee of a steep 
hill called Craigcaoinichean. It was covered with a 
light scrog of wood, and in front was a piece of more 
or less level ground with the tarn of Carbisdale at the 
north end, and to the south-east the deep channel of 
the Culrain burn. Two miles farther down the Kyle 
lay the lowlands around the Carron mouth. He had 
been encamped there apparently for several days, wait- 
ing on the Mackenzies. It was a strong position if he 
had stayed by it, for no cavalry could have forced the 
pass of Craigcaoinichean. His scouts could command 
the shore road down the Kyle and bring him early 
intelligence of any foe. 

Strachan reached Wester Fearn about three in the 
afternoon of the 27th. He knew the position of the 


enemy, and he knew their weakness. It was his business 
to draw them down from the hill to the flat ground 
where his cavalry could act. Accordingly he concealed 
most of his horse among the long broom which covered 
the slopes above Wester Fearn. The Monroes and 
Rosses went up the Carron to a point on the heights 
above Carbisdale where they awaited the issue. Their 
heart was not in the fight, and they wanted to see how 
the day went before sharing in it. Strachan then ad- 
vanced a single troop up the valley till he had passed 
the Carron. 

Major Lisle, who commanded Montrose's forty horse, 
was sent to reconnoitre, and returned with information 
of the single troop. One of his gentlemen-volunteers, 
Monro of Achnes, assured the viceroy that there was 
but one troop of horse in all the shire, and that he saw 
it before him. Montrose ordered Lisle to halt, and 
gave the word to his foot to advance. Meantime 
Strachan was bringing up the rest of his troops from 
Wester Fearn. As soon as the Royalists were on the 
low ground they would see nothing of his movements, 
and in the cover of the broom and wildwood the whole 
Covenant cavalry crossed the Carron and advanced to 
meet Montrose. 

Suddenly upon Lisle's forty horse Strachan dashed with 
a hundred of his dragoons. The little force was driven 
backward upon the foot, who were not deployed for battle 
and were easily cast into confusion. There cannot have 


been more than twelve hundred of them — four hun- 
dred Danes and Germans, and the rest the raw Orkney 
levies. The foreigners were not accustomed to receive 
a cavalry charge unsupported, and the Orcadians had 
probably never seen a dragoon in their lives before. 
They fell back in disorder, and Montrose saw that his 
one chance was to regain the safety of the Craig- 
caoinichean entrenchments. He had done the same 
thing under greater difficulties once before at Dundee. 
But then his force had been of a different quality. Had 
he had his 500 gallant Irish the day would have been 
saved, but they had long been below the turf of Slain- 
Man's-Lee. The mercenaries retreated in some order, 
but the hapless islanders, decent farmers and fisher-folk 
utterly unused to war, fled without a blow. Upon 
the fugitives came Strachan's reserves, Halkett's and 
Hutchison's troops, and Lawers' musketeers. Mon- 
trose's standard-bearer, Menzies of Pitfoddels, was shot 
dead at his side. Soon the scattered remnant of the 
Royalists, a few hundred at the most, was making its 
last stand on the wooded slopes of Craigcaoinichean. 

Down from the hills came the Monroes and Rosses, 
convinced at last, to take their share of the victory. 
The Orkney men were drowned in hundreds trying to 
cross the Kyle, or were cut down in the haugh. Not a 
family in the islands but lost a son or a brother. The 
fire from the woods slackened, and the Royalists making 

for the higher slopes were shot or stabbed by the horse. 
a,ni) 16 


Hurry was captured, and with him fifty-eight officers 
and nearly four hundred soldiers. Montrose was 
wounded several times, and his horse shot under him. 
It was Philiphaugh over again, and once more he was 
prevented from finding in battle the death which he 
desired. Young Frendraught, himself spent with 
wounds, forced him upon his own horse, and bade him 
remember his duty to the king's cause. In the late 
spring gloaming the viceroy of Scotland, with Kinnoul 
and two of the Sinclair gentry, turned his face from 
the stricken field towards the trackless wildernesses 
of the west.^^5) 

He flung away his sword-belt and coat with the star 
of the Garter that he might escape recognition, and 
managed to buy or borrow some rough Highland 
clothes. Strath Oykell was no place to ride, so he 
soon abandoned his horse, whereby his enemies found 
the clue they sought. His first object seems to have 
been to go north to Strath naver, and so reach Harry 
Graham at Thurso, and finally pass into Orkney. But 
he had no knowledge of the country, and during the 
first night the fugitives lost their way and wandered 
due west up the Oykell. For two days and two 
nights they were without food or shelter. There 
were few houses in the land and no roads ; it had 
been a backward year and the snow was probably 
still on the high hills ; the bogs, too, would be full 
and the streams swollen. Somehow they struggled 


over the watershed, where the burns began to flow 
to the Atlantic. They were now in a desperate case, 
and it was resolved to separate. Kinnoul and one 
of the Sinclairs were never heard of again. They died 
of famine somewhere in the wilderness, and " the 
foxes and the eagles alone could tell the tale " of 
their end.^^^ On the third day Montrose was given 
bread and milk at a herd's shieling, and hid below 
a trough when a party arrived in pursuit. On de- 
parting he regretted that he had put his host in 
danger, and " determined never to do the like again 
to avoid death, of which, he thanked God, he was not 
afraid."^''^ He was now some thirty miles from the 
scene of the battle. 

But the hue and cry was out against him. The 
laird of Assynt was a certain Neil Macleod, a mem- 
ber of a sept with a dark record for deeds of blood. 
He had married a daughter of Monro of Lemlair,^^^^ 
whom Montrose had looked upon as an ally, and he 
himself had been protected by Seaforth, and seems to 
have passed for something of a Royalist. His brother- 
in-law sent him a letter bidding him search his country 
for fugitives, and " chiefly James Graham," and Neil 
was no laggard in the business. One of his men found 
the famished wanderer on the confines of the Assynt 
country, and when Montrose heard his master's name 
he probably asked to be taken to him. He thought 
he had much to hope for from a Macleod and a son- 


in-law of Lemlair. On the evening of the 30th of 
April he was brought to the castle of Ardvreck, whose 
shell still stands on the northern shore of Loch Assynt. 
There, he found Neil, and there he met, too, the sur- 
viving Sinclair, who had been brought in by Neil's 
scouts. But from Assynt he got no kindness. The 
head of the viceroy was worth sufficient gold to set 
up his impoverished family for good. Montrose be- 
sought him to take him to Orkney, and offered him 
money, but Neil was resolute, knowing well that the 
Estates could outbid the fugitive. He sent off an 
express with the happy news to Leslie, who had now 
arrived at Tain, and confined the prisoners in the 
cellars of his castle. A few days later, on the 4th of 
May, Holbourn arrived at Ardvreck, and Montrose was 
committed to his hands. 

Carbisdale, like Philiphaugh, was a surprise and a 
rout rather than a battle. It was the first fight which 
Montrose ever fought with a superiority in numbers, 
for he had 1,200 men as against Strachan's 660 ; but 
the only contest was between the 220 Covenant troop- 
ers and Montrose's forty horse and 400 foreigners. 
Further, infantry in those days, unless magnificently 
posted, had no chance against even a weak body of 
cavalry, so for the purpose of the battle we may rule 
out all the foot who were straggling in the flats, and 
say that the struggle lay between Lisle's forty gentle- 
men-volunteers and Strachan's horse. There could 


never have been any doubt as to the issue, and though 
Strachan deserves all credit for a bold feat of arms, 
yet his task was easy. Montrose was doomed when 
he left the heights of Craigcaoinichean, and he left 
the heights, as we have seen, because of the defective 
information of his local scoutmaster. But indeed he 
was lost long before, during the days he waited for 
the Mackenzies who never came. He failed because, 
instead of pushing on with all speed to Badenoch, he 
wasted time on a half-hearted clan. If Neil Macleod 
was the immediate cause of Montrose's fate, his 
patron, Seaforth, was the ruin of the campaign ; and 
Seaforth's indecision in turn was due beyond a doubt 
to the two-faced tactics of Charles. On the ist of 
May, the day Montrose was taken, the king signed 
with the Covenanters the draft of the Treaty of 

The name of the laird of Assynt lives in Scottish 
history with that of Sir John Menteith, who betrayed 
Wallace. Ian Lorn, the bard of Keppoch, has left 
bitter verses on the " stripped tree of the false apples, 
Neil's son of woeful Assynt." He made little of his 
infamy. After the Restoration he was frequently in 
jail, and was twice tried for his life. His castle was 
burned, and his family, as if under a curse, soon 
withered out of existence. He was awarded twenty- 
five thousand pounds Scots * for his services, of which 

• About ;^ 1, 360. 


twenty thousand were to be paid in coin and the rest 
in oatmeal. It does not appear that he ever got 
the money, but the receipts for the meal exist, and 
Highland tradition is positive that two-thirds of it 
was sour/'^^ 


(May 1650.) 


Now that the last blow had been struck, and only 
death remained, the oppression seems to have lifted 
from Montrose's soul. The " fey " mood had passed 
and his spirit was enlarged. Once ' more he is the 
clear-sighted and constant patriot, the great gentleman 
who in the hour of deepest degradation can meet the 
taunts of his enemies with a smiling face, the Christian 
who has compassion upon the frailty of mankind. For 
six years his name had terrified the Covenanters, and 
as their hold upon the nation declined so also did 
their nerve and courage. The news of his landing 
in the north had shaken the Estates to their founda- 
tion. The crowning mercy of Carbisdale was at first 
scarcely believed, and when Strachan himself arrived 
post-haste to claim his reward their exaltation knew no 
bounds. Mixed with it was the zest of coming revenge. 


Their tormentor had been marvellously delivered into 
their hands, and we can judge of their past anxiety by 
the punishment they devised. The measure of their 
vengeance is the measure of their fear. 

It is difficult to judge Charles fairly. He was a 
young man, undisciplined, ill-advised, and without a 
trace of serious purpose. His one good quality, his 
courage, need not imply any nice sense of honour. 
But it is probable that before signing the Treaty of 
Breda he had convinced himself that he had made 
provision for the safety of his captain-general. On the 
5th of May he wrote to Montrose, bidding him lay 
down his arms and disband his men. He seems to have 
received assurances from the Scottish Commissioners of 
an indemnity for the Royalist army. On the 8th of 
May he wrote to the Estates asking that Montrose and 
his forces should be allowed to leave the country in 
safety. A private letter was also written to the viceroy, 
telling him that 10,000 rix-dollars were at his call in 
Sir Patrick Drummond's hands. Sir William Fleming, 
a cousin of Montrose's, had further orders dated the 
1 2th of May, written apparently after some rumour of 
Carbisdale had reached the king. These latest instruc- 
tions were not to deliver the letter of the 8th of May 
to Parliament unless Montrose was still unbeaten and 
at the head of a reasonable army ; if he had been 
defeated, the letter was to be concealed. Apparently 
Charles did not wish to ask grace for his captain- 


general from the Estates if he was a fugitive ; he 
trusted to his private arrangement with the Scottish 
Commissioners. It is a tangled business, but it is 
inconceivable that the king hoped to conceal or disavow 
his complicity in the invasion. This was already clear 
from the public letter of the I2th of January, which 
every one in Scotland knew of, and from his personal 
letter of the 5th of May to Montrose, which was 
delivered and read to the Estates. A further letter, 
dated the 12th of May, was also read to Parliament, in 
which Charles disclaimed all responsibility for Mon- 
trose's doings. But It is impossible to believe that the 
king, who was no fool, and had the rest of the cor- 
respondence in his memory, could have been guilty of 
so futile and purposeless a piece of treachery, by which 
no one could be deceived. It is more likely that this 
was a fabrication of Will Murray, Argyll's emissary, 
with a view of alienating from the now Covenanting 
king the last remnants of Royalist respect in Scotland 
and Cavalier support in England. Base and heartless 
as was Charles's conduct, it is incredible that It reached 
the height of perfidy which Argyll and Lothian would 
have had the world belleve.^'*^ 

To Montrose royal duplicity and Covenanting in- 
trigues had become matters of little moment. For 
him the long day's task was nearly done, and the hour 
of unarming had struck. He was led in triumphant 
progress by his captors through the length of Scotland, 


but the triumph was not theirs. On the 5th of May 
Holbourn hurried him from Ardvreck by way of Inveran 
to Skibo on the north side of the Kyle. A night was 
spent there, and the lady of the castle, finding that 
the rank of the prisoner was not sufficiently recognized, 
beat Holbourn about the head with a leg of mutton 
and had Montrose given the place of honour.^^^) f^g 
was ferried over the Kyle, and on the 8th delivered 
to Leslie at Tain. Thence next day he was carried 
by way of Dingwall to Brahan Castle. On the fol- 
lowing day he was at Beauly, and we have the record 
of Mr. James Fraser,^^^^ then a boy of sixteen, 
and afterwards Lovat's chaplain, who now joined the 
march. The viceroy " sat upon a little shelty horse, 
without a saddle, but a quilt of rags and straw, and 
pieces of ropes for stirrups ; his feet fastened under 
the horse's belly with a tether ; a bit halter for a 
bridle." It was the mode of progress which was later 
suffered by many saints of the Covenant, notably 
Mr. Donald Cargill. He still wore peasant's clothes, 
on his head was a montero cap, and around his 
shoulders a ragged old reddish plaid. His neglected 
wounds pained him greatly, and he was in a high 
fever. At Muirtown, near Inverness, he begged for 
water, and there the crowd from the town came out 
to gaze on him. The two ministers of Inverness also 
appeared, and seem to have been more decent in their 
behaviour than the run of the brethren. At the 


bridge-end an old woman railed at him and reminded 
him of the houses he had burned when he besieged 
the town. "Yet he never altered his countenance, 
but with a majesty and state beseeming him kept his 
countenance high." 

The magistrates met him at the cross, where they 
had set up a table of refreshments. He was offered 
wine and mixed it with water. Fraser saw the other 
prisoners drinking heartily under a forestair, and 
remarked among them Sir John Hurry, "a robust, 
tall, stately fellow, with a long cut in his cheek." 
Hurry was a true soldier of fortune, own brother to 
Dugald Dalgetty, and in his varied career and many 
changes of side he kept a certain soldierly honour. 
As was said of a more famous Sir John, the world could 
have better spared a better man. The provost, Duncan 
Forbes of Culloden, a courteous member of an 
honourable house, said on taking leave, " My lord, 
I am sorry for your circumstances." That night the 
prisoners lodged at Castle Stewart on the road to 

On the way through Moray many friends came to 
greet him, college companions at St. Andrews and 
loyalists such as Pluscardine, whose clan had so grievous- 
ly failed him. At Elgin he was greatly cheered by the 
sight of an old college friend, the minister of Duffus. 
His well-wishers convoyed him over Spey, and on the 
nth he halted at Keith, where he lay on straw in 


a tent set up in the fields. The next day was the 
Sabbath, and he attended the ministrations of Mr. 
William Kinethmont, who preached on the favourite 
Covenanting text of the hewing of Agag and the 
Amalekites. He violently abused the prisoner, till 
he disgusted even his Covenanting hearers. " Rail 
on, Rabshakeh," was the victim's only reply. On the 
13th the procession reached Pitcaple Castle, ^^''^ the 
home of an Engager. The quicker road to the south 
through Mar was not taken, probably through fear 
of a rescue by the Farquharsons, and the route chosen 
was the one by which Montrose had so often led his 
swift armies. Now he traversed the scene of his 
victories with a herald pacing before him, proclaiming, 
" Here comes James Graham, a traitor to his country." 
He was probably at Fordoun on the 14th, and on the 
15th he reached Southesk's castle of Kinnaird. There 
he saw his two younger sons, Robert and David, boys 
of fourteen and twelve. When he left them he left 
behind the last slender ties which still bound him to 
earth. His wife and his eldest son were dead ; his 
best friends had perished on the scaffold; his cause, 
the clean and sane ideals he had fought for, was undone. 
Death could have few terrors to one who had nothing 
to live for, and who had faced it so often with the gaiety 
of a lover. Like Kent in King Lear he might have said : — 

" I have a journey, sir, shortly to go ; 
My master calls me, I must not say no." 


On the night of the 1 5th he halted at the house of 
Grange, a property of the Durhams, five miles from 
Dundee. Here, if we are to believe the author of 
the Memoir of the SomervilleSy^'^^^ there was an attempt, 
as at Pitcaple, to assist him to escape. The lady of 
the house plied the guards with strong ale and brandy, 
and they, being Highlanders of Lawers' regiment, 
willingly succumbed. But the outer guards had not 
been tampered with, and the fugitive was discovered 
by a trooper of Strachan's horse. There is only one 
authority for the story, but we have no reason to 
discredit it. Next day he entered Dundee, and to the 
eternal credit of that staunchly Covenanting town, which 
moreover had suffered more, than most at Montrose's 
hands, he was received with decency and respect. " The 
whole town expressed a good deal of sorrow for his 
condition ; and furnished him with clothes and all 
other things suitable to his place, birth, and person." 
We have no record of the two days' march across Fife. 
No doubt the ministers flocked to upbraid him, and 
the few heroes who had returned from Tippermuir and 
Kilsyth came to stare at one who had given them little 
cause to love him. From Dysart or Kirkcaldy the 
company took ship for Leith, and reached it about four 
o'clock on the afternoon of Saturday the i8th. On 
the same day and at the same port arrived Sir William 
Fleming with the king's letters of disbandment. 

The Covenanters had made ample preparation to 


receive the prisoner. They knew that what they had 
to do must be done quickly. The viceroy must be 
dead before the king's coming to Scotland, or trouble 
would follow. Further, the Commonwealth had never 
shown any bitterness against the great captain, and 
might interdict those of the Estates who favoured 
Cromwell from the kind of vengeance which Cromwell 
as a rule preferred to leave to the Lord. There were 
magnanimous men, too, in Scotland in all parties who 
resented the unsoldierly treatment of a soldier, and 
there were his friends in foreign courts, notably in the 
court of France, who would be certain to plead for 
him if time were allowed. Such an appeal ^''^^ was actually 
sent, signed by the young king Louis the Fourteenth, in 
which it was eloquently urged that Montrose had always 
acted within the terms of his royal commission, and 
therefore could not be condemned by those who now 
acknowledged the royal authority. But the appeal 
arrived after the deed had been done. Argyll was not 
the man to waste time when it was a matter of getting 
rid of a dreaded and hated rival. 

Immediately after the news of Carbisdale the Estates 
had sat to consider the question of punishment. In 
a time of civil strife nice questions of legality are out 
of place, and the condemnation of Montrose was as 
legal as anything else that was done by the Scots 
Parliament. He had been attainted and outlawed in 
1644, and there had been no reversal of the sentence. 


A commission was appointed to decide on the details 
of the penalty, and on the 17th of May had made its 
report. The captive was to be met at the gates by the 
magistrates and the hangman, and conducted with every 
circumstance of ignominy to the Tolbooth. Thereafter 
he was to be hanged on a gibbet — not beheaded as was 
the custom with state prisoners — with Wishart's book 
and a copy of his own last Declaration tied around his 
neck. Thus would be fulfilled the words of the prophet 
Rothes, and he would be "lifted up above the rest in 
three fathoms of a rope." After death the head was 
to be struck off, the body dismembered, and the limbs 
fixed in public places in StirHng, Glasgow, Perth, and 
Aberdeen. If he repented of his misdeeds, the ban of 
excommunication would be removed and the body 
buried in Greyfriars' Churchyard ; if not, it would go 
to the felons' pit on the Boroughmuir. It was piously 
hoped that the common folk of Edinburgh, who had 
lost kith and kin in his wars, would await his entrance 
and show their hatred with filth and stones. For this 
purpose his hands were to be pinioned behind his 

The afternoon was clear and chilly, such as is 
common on the shores of the Forth in late May. 
The magistrates of Edinburgh met him at Leith, and 
the procession was formed, the other prisoners on foot 
and Montrose himself mounted on a cart-horse. His 
face was drawn and wasted with fever, and his grey 


eyes burned with an unnatural brilliancy. The good 
folk of Dundee had given him clothes more suited 
to his condition than those he had worn when captured, 
and he bore himself among the hostile crowd with 
a gentle dignity. A smile, it is said, flickered about 
his mouth, not of scorn, but of peace. When he 
entered the Nethergate of the city, where the faubourg 
of the Canongate began, in which stood the houses 
of the nobility, he found awaiting him the officers of 
justice, the hangman, and a hangman's cart drawn by 
four horses. He was shown the sentence o^ the Estates 
and read it carefully, saying that he was sorry that the 
king, whose commission he bore, should be so dis- 
honoured. Then he entered the cart, and was tied 
to a high seat with cords across his breast and arms. 
The hangman exchanged hats with him, and Montrose 
was compelled to wear the red bonnet of the outcast 

Slowly in the bright evening the procession moved 
up the ancient via dolorosa of Scottish history.^'°°^ The 
street was blocked with people — the dregs of the 
Edinburgh slums, black-gowned ministers, the retainers 
of the Covenanting lords, all the elements most bitterly 
hostile to the prisoner. But to the amazement of the 
organizers there was no sign of popular wrath. Rather 
there was silence, a tense air of sympathy and pity and 
startled admiration. The high pale face set up in that 
place of public scorn awed the mob into stillness. " In 


all the way, there appeared in him such majesty, courage, 

modesty, and even somewhat more than natural, that 

those common women who had lost their husbands 

and children in his wars, and who were hired to stone 

him, were, upon the sight of him, so astonished and 

moved that their intended curse turned into tears and 

prayers." ^'°'^ In the strained quiet, broken only by 

excited sobs, there was one jarring note. Lady 

Haddington, Argyll's niece and the sister of Lord 

Gordon, by reputation the most abandoned woman 

in Scotland, laughed shrilly and shouted a word of 

insult from the balcony where she sat. A voice cried 

out of the crowd that the right place for her was in 

the hangman's cart to expiate her sins. 

In the lodgings along the Canongate the Covenanting 

nobles were assembled to feast their eyes upon the 

degradation of their old enemy. In the balcony of 

Lord Moray's house Lord Lorn sat with his young 

bride, the same man who thirty-five years later was 

himself to go to a not inglorious scaffold. Inside the 

house, with the shutters half-closed, stood Argyll with 

Loudoun and Wariston. Montrose as he passed 

caught a glimpse of the sour, anxious, unhappy face 

which he knew so well, and for the first time for long 

the two men looked into each other's eyes. The 

shutters were closed and the faces disappeared. There 

was an English soldier in the crowd who observed 

the incident, and cried, " It was no wonder they started 
(1,7*4) 17 


aside at his look, for they durst not look him in the 
face these seven years bygone." 

As he passed the cross he saw the new gallows 
standing ready to receive him. About seven o'clock 
he reached the Tolbooth. His bonds were cut, and 
as he descended he gave the hangman gold, and 
thanked him " for driving his triumphal chariot so 
well." Scarcely was he within the prison when a 
deputation from the Estates with its retinue of 
ministers arrived to interrogate him. He refused to 
answer, for indeed he was very weary with travel and 
neglected wounds, and his tormentors withdrew. His 
parting words to them were a jest. " The compli- 
ments they put upon him that day," he said, "had 
proved something tedious." He was still young, only 


Next day being the Sabbath there was a great preach- 
ing. From every pulpit in the city the clergy thundered 
against the excommunicate James Graham and no less 
against the mob who had refused to stone him. The 
prisoner was visited by the usual deputation of ministers, 
but they got no satisfaction. He told them, in the words 
of the Wigton manuscript, that "if they thought they 
had affronted him the day before by carrying him in 
a cart they were much mistaken, for he thought it the 


most honourable and joyful journey ever he made ; 
God having all the while most comfortably manifested 
Himself to him, and furnished him with resolution 
to overlook the reproaches of men, and to behold 
Him for whose cause he suffered." 

He was given no peace. At eight o'clock on the 
Monday morning his persecutors returned to the attack. 
Mr. James Guthrie, Mr, Mungo Law, Mr. Robert 
Traill, and others, hoped to extract some confession 
from him which could be used to undo the profound 
impression which his appearance had made on the 
people of Edinburgh. They charged him at a venture 
with imaginary personal vices of which he had none. 
Then they accused him of taking up arms against his 
country, of using Irish troops, and of shedding Scottish 
blood. He replied, as Wodrow's informant told him,^'°''^ 
in a manner " too airy and volage, not so much suiting 
the gravity of a nobleman." Using their own favourite 
argument, he reminded them that David in the Cave 
of Adullam had gathered an odd fighting force ; and 
as for bloodshed he declared " if it could have been 
thereby prevented, he would rather it had all come 
out of his own veins." Lastly they charged him with 
a breach of the Covenant, and his answer was ready. 
" The Covenant which I took I own it and adhere to 
it. Bishops, 1 care not for them. I never intended to 
advance their interests. But when the king had 
granted you all your desires, and you were every one 


sitting under his vine and under his fig tree — that then 
you should have taken a party in England by the hand, 
and entered into a League and Covenant with them 
against the king, was the thing I judged my duty to 
oppose to the yondmost." One of" the ministers lost 
patience and told him that he was a faggot of hell 
which already he saw in torment. Mr. James Guthrie 
then touched on the excommunication, and said that 
since the prisoner showed himself obdurate it must 
remain. With the strange arrogance of his creed he 
had the " fearful apprehension that what is bound on 
earth God will bind in heaven." Montrose replied 
gently that he would gladly be reconciled to the Church 
of Scotland, but he could not call that his sin which he 
accounted to have been his duty. 

When the ministers left him he was given a little 
bread dipped in ale for his breakfast, but he was not 
allowed a barber to shave him. At ten o'clock he was 
taken before the bar of Parliament to hear his sentence. 
It was common knowledge that he had acted under the 
king's credentials, and therefore nothing in the nature 
of a trial could be allowed, for it was difficult for 
Loudoun and Argyll to deny a mandate for which they 
had the royal evidence. Loudoun seems to have 
harped on the incidents of the Highland wars, mingled 
with violent denunciations of the viceroy's person. 
Since his arrival in Edinburgh, Montrose had been 
furnished, probably by the Napier ladies, with clothes 


worthy of his rank. When he stood up before his 
accusers in Parliament he wore a suit of fine black 
cloth, with a richly laced scarlet cloak to the knee ; 
on his head was a black beaver hat with a silver band ; 
and on his legs stockings of carnation silk/'"^^ He re- 
plied to his accusers in a speech, happily preserved,^'°*^ 
in which he repeated the substance of his many 
declarations — his loyalty to the true Covenant, his 
abhorrence of the Solemn League. " How far religion 
has been advanced by it these poor distressed kingdoms 
can witness." War could not be waged without the 
shedding of blood, but he had repressed all disorders 
as soon as known. " Never was any man's blood spilt 
but in battle ; and even then, many thousand lives have 
I preserved. And I dare here avow, in the presence of 
God, that never a hair of Scotsman's head that I could 
save fell to the ground." He asked to be judged "by 
the laws of God, the laws of nature and nations, and 
the laws of this land." But he knew that the plea 
was vain, so he appealed to a higher tribunal — to the 
" righteous Judge of the world, who one day must be 
your Judge and mine, and who always gives out 
righteous judgments." He had said his say ; he had 
fulfilled the proud boast which he had made to Parlia- 
ment nine years before : " My resolution is to carry 
along fidelity and honour to the grave." His judges 
had no answer. Loudoun, the chancellor, replied with 
a torrent of abuse, and Johnston of Wariston read the 


sentence, which Montrose heard on his knees. We are 
told that he lifted up his head as the grim words were 
uttered and looked Wariston calmly in the face. 

He was taken back to the Tolbooth where all day he 
was tormented by ministers. The captain of the town 
guard was the famous Major Weir ^^°^\ the warlock of 
Edinburgh legend, who afterwards expiated his many 
crimes at the stake. By his orders the guard were 
always in the prisoner's room, and filled it with 
tobacco smoke, which Montrose, unlike his father, 
could not abide. None of his friends were allowed to 
come near him. Nevertheless, we are told, in spite of 
fever and wounds and the imminence of death, he con- 
tinued his devotions unperturbed, and slept as peace- 
fully as a child. That last night, like Sir Walter 
Raleigh and much in the same strain, he, who had for 
so long forsaken the Muse, returned to his old love. 
These lines were written amid the smoke and 
wrangling of the guards : — 

" Let them bestow on every airth a limb, 
Then open all my veins, that I may swim 
To Thee, my Maker, in that crimson lake, — 
Then place my parboiled head upon a stake. 
Scatter my ashes — strew them in the air. — 
Lord ! Since Thou knowest where all these atoms are, 
I'm hopeful Thou'lt recover once my dust. 
And confident Thou'lt raise me with the just." 

On Tuesday morning the 21st of May he rose for 


the last time. Like the Spartans before Thermopylae, 
he combed his long locks for death. Probably they 
were matted with the blood of his untended wounds. 
The usual concourse of ministers and politicians was in 
his cell, and Wariston sneered at him for his care of 
the body. " My head is still my own," was his answer. 
" To-night, when it will be yours, treat it as you please." 
Presently he heard the drums beating to arms, and was 
told that the troops were assembling to prevent any 
attempt at a rescue. He laughed and cried, " What, 
am I still a terror to them ? Let them look to them- 
selves ; my ghost will haunt them." 

He was taken about two in the afternoon by the 
bailies down the High Street to the cross, which stood 
half-way between the Tolbooth and the Tron Kirk. 
He still wore the brave clothes in which he had con- 
fronted Parliament. James Fraser who saw him wrote : 
" He stept along the streets with so great state, and 
there appeared in his countenance so much beauty, 
majesty, and gravity as amazed the beholders. And 
many of his enemies did acknowledge him to be the 
bravest subject in the world." The scaffold was a 
great four-square platform, breast-high, and on it a 
thirty-foot gallows had been erected. On the platform 
stood the ministers, Mr. Robert Traill and Mr. Mungo 
Law, still bent on getting a word of confession. They 
were disappointed. Montrose did not look at them, 
but, after speaking apart with the magistrates, ad- 


dressed the mob, which surged up against the edge of 
the scaffold. A boy called Robert Gordon sat by and 
took down his words in some kind of shorthand/'°^^ 
and the crowd, with that decency which belongs to all 
common folk, kept a reverent silence. The Estates 
were afraid lest he should attack the king and spoil 
their game, but he spoke no word of bitterness or 
reproach. It was the testament of a man conscious of 
his mortal frailty but confident in the purity of his 
purpose and the mercy of his God. 

" I am sorry if this manner of my end be scandalous to any good 
Christian here. Doth it not often happen to the righteous accord- 
ing to the way of the unrighteous ? Doth not sometimes a just 
man perish in his righteousness, and a wicked man prosper in his 
wickedness and malice? They who know me should not dis- 
esteem me for this. Many greater than I have been dealt with in 
this kind. But I must not say but that all God's judgments are 
just. And this measure, for my private sins, I acknowledge to be 
just with God. I wholly submit myself to Him. But, in regard of 
man, I may say they are but instruments. God forgive them ; and 
I forgive them. They have oppressed the poor, and violently 
perverted judgment and justice. But He that is higher than they 
will reward them. What I did in this kingdom was in obedience 
to the most just commands of my sovereign, and in his defence, 
in the day of his distress, against those who rose up against him. 
I acknowledge nothing, but fear God and honour the king, accord 
ing to the commandments of God, and the just laws of nature and 
nations. And I have not sinned against man, but against God; 
and with Him there is mercy, which is the ground of my drawing 
near unto Him. It is objected against me by many, even good 


people, that I am under the censure of the Church. This is not 
my fault, seeing it is only for doing my duty, by obeying my 
Prince's most just commands, for religion, his sacred person, and 
authority. Yet I am sorry they did excommunicate me ; and in 
that which is according to God's laws, without wronging my con- 
science or allegiance I desire to be relaxed. If they will not do it 
I appeal to God, who is the Righteous Judge of the world, and 
who must, and will, I hope, be my Judge and Saviour. It is 
spoken of me that I would blame the king. God forbid. For 
the late king, he lived a saint, and died a martyr. I pray God I 
may end as he did. If ever I would wish my soul in another 
man's stead, it should be in his. For his Majesty now living, 
never any people, I believe, might be more happy in a king. His 
commandments to me were most just ; and I obeyed them. He 
deals justly with all men. I pray God he be so dealt withal that 
he be not betrayed under trust as his father was. I desire not to 
be mistaken ; as if my carriage at this time, in relation to your 
ways, were stubborn. I do but follow the light of my conscience, 
my rule ; which is seconded by the working of the Spirit of God 
that is within me. I thank Him I go to heaven with joy the way 
He paved for me. If He enable me against the fear of death, and 
furnish me with courage and confidence to embrace it even in its 
most ugly shape, let God be glorified in my end, though it were in 
my damnation. Yet I say not this out of any fear or mistrust, but 
out of my duty to God, and love to His people. I have no more 
to say, but that I desire your charity and prayers. And I shall 
pray for you all. I leave my soul to God, my service to my 
prince, my goodwill to my friends, my love and charity to you all. 
And thus briefly I have exonerated my conscience." <'°7) 

There is a tradition that during the morning there 
had been lowering thunder-clouds and flashes of light- 
ning, but that as Montrose stood on the scaffold a 


burst of sunlight flooded the street. When he had 
finished speaking he gave money to the executioner, 
and prayed silently for a little. His arms were 
pinioned, and he walked up the ladder with that 
stately carriage which had always marked him. His 
last words were, "God have mercy on this afflicted 
land." Tears ran down the hancjman's face as he 
pushed him off, and we are told that a great sob 
broke from the crowd. They had cause to sob, for 
that day there was done to death such a man as his 
country has not seen again. 

According to the sentence, the body was dismembered 
and the limbs distributed among the chief towns. The 
remains in Aberdeen must have caught the eye of 
Charles when he arrived a few weeks later. The 
trunk was buried beside the public gallows on the 
Boroughmuir. The head was placed on a spike in 
front of the Tolbooth, and eleven years later was taken 
down to make room for the head of Argyll, 


There was to be another funeral besides that melan- 
choly scene by lantern light among the marshes of the 
Boroughmuir. After the Restoration one of Charles's 
first acts was to give public burial to the remains of 
his great captain. On January 4, 1661, the Scots 


Parliament resolved on " an honourable reparation for 
that horrid and monstrous barbarity in the person of 
the great Marquis of Montrose." ^'°^^ The trunk was 
taken up and the limbs gathered from the several 
towns, a ceremony attended by " the honest people's 
loud and joyful acclam.ation." The remains, wrapped 
in fine linen, in a noble coffin, lay in state in the Abbey 
Kirk from the 7th of January to the nth of May. On 
the last date took place the great procession to St. 
Giles's.^'°5^ First rode Sir Harry Graham, Montrose's 
half-brother, carrying the arms of his house. Then fol- 
lowed the Graham gentry with their different standards — 
Duntroon, Morphie, Monzie, Balgowan, Gorthie ; and 
Black Pate of Inchbrakie, who had been with Montrose 
on that August afternoon in Atholl when the curtain 
rose upon his campaigns, bore his Order of the Garter. 
The body was carried by fourteen earls, including the men 
or the sons of the men who had betrayed him, such as 
Seaforth and Home and Roxburgh, as well as old oppon- 
ents such as Eglinton and Callander. Twelve viscounts 
and barons bore the pall, among them Strathnaver, the 
son of the Sutherland who had locked the gates of the 
north after Carbisdale. The young Montrose and his 
brother Lord Robert followed the coffin, and in the 
procession were the representatives of almost every 
Scottish house. Argyll's friend and Montrose's brother- 
in-law, RoUo, was there, and Marischal, who had held 
Dunnottar against him, and Tweeddale and Forrester 


who had voted for his death. There, too, were the 
faithful friends who had not failed him, Maderty, and 
Frendraught, and the Marquis of Douglas, and old 
Napier's grandson. The morning had been stormy, 
but we are told that as the procession moved from 
Holyrood the sun shone out brightly, as it had 
done at his end. The streets were lined with the 
trainbands, who fired their volleys, while in reply 
the cannon thundered from the castle, wherein lay 
Argyll under sentence of death. The nobles of Scot- 
land according to their wont had moved over to the 
winning side. The pageant was an act of tardy justice, 
and it attracts by its dramatic contrasts, but it had little 
relevance to Montrose's true achievement. He was as 
little kin to the rabble of the Restoration as to the 
rabble of the Covenant. The noble monument which 
now marks his grave in the ancient High Kirk of 
Scotland is a more fitting testimony, for it has been 
left to modern days to recognize the greatness of one 
who had no place in his generation. 

The heart was not carried from Holyrood on that 
Saturday in May. Its story is the most romantic of 
alU"°^ Shortly after his death young Lady Napier sent 
her servants by night to the grave on the Boroughmuir, 
and had the heart taken from the body. It was skilfully 
embalmed, and placed in a little egg-shaped case of 
steel made from the blade of his sword. This in turn 
was enclosed in a gold filigree box which had been 




given to her husband's grandfather by a Doge of 
Venice. She sent the box to the young Marquis of 
Montrose on the Continent, where it remained for 
many years, passing somehow out of the possession of 
the family. It was recognized in a Dutch collection by 
a friend of the fifth Lord Napier, who procured it for 
him. Napier bequeathed it on his death to his 
daughter, who had married a Johnston of Carnsalloch, 
an official of the East India Company. It was carried 
to India, and on the way was struck by a shot in a 
battle with a French squadron off Cape Verd Islands, 
and the gold filigree box was shattered. But the 
adventures of the heart were not ended. It remained 
for some time in the Johnstons' house at Madura, 
where the natives came to reverence it as a talisman. 
It was stolen and purchased by the Nabob of Arcot, in 
whose treasury it long lay. The young Johnston in a 
hunting expedition happened to save his life, and the 
Nabob in gratitude restored the relic to his family. It 
was brought home to Europe by the elder Johnstons 
in 1792, and as they travelled overland through France 
they heard of the edict of the Revolution government 
requiring the surrender of all gold and silver trinkets. 
Mrs. Johnston entrusted it to an Englishwoman at 
Boulogne till it could be sent to England, but the lady 
died soon afterwards, and in the troubled days that 
followed the relic disappeared. Since then it has been 
lost to the world. Some day, perhaps, an antiquary, 


rummaging in the old shops on the quays, may come 
on a casket of Indian work, and opening it find the 
little egg-shaped case. It would be a precious dis- 
covery, for it holds the dust of the bravest of Scottish 



Montrose founded no school and left no successor. 
He was a lonely figure in his day, and for two centuries 
almost his bequest remained unnoted and unshared. 
Cromwell, indeed, came north into Scotland the same 
year and enforced one part of his message. Dunbar 
was the avenging of Philiphaugh and Carbisdale, and 
the heavy hand of the greatest of Englishmen was 
laid on the strange edifice which plotters and fanatics 
had built out of the rubbish of the Middle Ages. 
The nine years of the English occupation saw the 
plain man raising his head once more. Sir Alexander 
Irvine of Drum was moved to tell the ministers that 
their wild charges were " but undigested rhapsodies 
of confused nonsense," and none could gainsay him. 
Cromwell enforced his views on religious toleration, 
and did his best to curb the appetite of the Kirk 

* The phrase is Wishart's, and is used in the last sentence of his Life. 


for witch-finding. He made an attempt at uniting 
Scotland with England, reduced taxation, established 
free trade with the south, took the sting out of ex- 
communication by preventing any civil penalties 
attending it, and finally, to the infinite comfort of 
the lieges, suppressed the General Assembly. For the 
first time for a generation even-handed justice was 
done between all classes. And, as we know from 
Mr. Robert Law, the spiritual life of the country, 
long bound under the desolate frosts of faction, 
began to put forth hopeful shoots. 

Cromwell passed, and the king who had so cheer- 
fully betrayed his servant came to his own again. 
The old strife was renewed of nobles and king and 
Kirk, and again the common folk of Scotland were 
the victims. One thing had indeed been gained — 
the impossible theocracy had perished. The Kirk, as 
always happens, having asked too much was to get 
less than her due, and the spiritual liberty which she 
had forbidden to others in her heyday was now to 
be denied to herself. The later Covenanters, whose 
sufferings have left so dark a memory among their 
countrymen, fought for a cause similar only in name 
to that of their predecessors before 1660. They 
resisted a despotic " bond " imposed on them by the 
Government to the outraging of their consciences, as 
Montrose had resisted the " bond " of Guthrie and 
Wariston. The men who suffered on the western 


moorlands, though his name was an anathema to 
them and they revered his executioners, yet stood 
for the very cause for which he died. They asked 
for the spiritual liberty he had pled for, and resisted 
that constraining of men's consciences which he had 
warred against. But the evil had been wrought. 
Fanaticism had raised a counter-fanaticism, and the 
struggle had to continue till both were dead of their 
wounds. The way was prepared for the long lack- 
lustre regime of eighteenth-century Scotland, when the 
Kirk was ossified into a thing of dogmas and forms 
and civil government sunk to a dull and corrupt servi- 
tude to the powers of the moment. The spiritual 
fires of the Covenant had burned too murkily to be 
allowed to last, and the clear flame of Montrose had 
gone from a world that was not worthy of it. Scots- 
men can now look back upon that tangled era and 
judge both parties without bitterness. Argyll's monu- 
ment stands close to Montrose's in St. Giles's, and 
the most fervent admirer of the great marquis can 
see the value of the tradition which the Covenant 
has bequeathed to us. But it should not be forgotten 
that that tradition, which has at once educated and 
ennobled the Scottish people, was a by-product, 
and was never the chief aim of the pre- 1660 Cove- 
nanters. For their enduring work, the liberty of the 
Kirk of Scotland and the elevation of the lowliest 

citizen to the dignity of an immortal soul, Montrose 
(1.744) 18 


laboured as zealously as they. In their declared 
objects, which were the establishment of a theocracy 
above any civil power and an inquisition over every 
man's conscience, they failed utterly and disastrously, 
and in their failure brought their country to the last 
misery and degradation. 

The history of Scotland was written first by the 
Divines and then by the Whigs, so it is small wonder 
that Montrose has fared badly. A kind of literary 
convention arose, according to which the most pagan 
of Edinburgh lawyers, when he took pen in hand, 
thought it his duty to pay tribute to the Solemn 
League and its abettors. It is only within the last 
two generations that the balance has been redressed, 
and the rarity and majesty of Montrose's character 
understood. But popular tradition has been more 
just. The fear of the great marquis in the Lowlands 
seems always to have been attended with a kind of 
respect. Stories of his humanity, his beauty, and his 
tragic fate were handed down, a curious interlude in 
a memory of blood and suffering. Lowland legend 
never gave him the name of " persecutor," and he 
never sat at that grim tavern-board in hell with " the 
fierce Middleton, and the dissolute Rothes, and the 
crafty Lauderdale." It would be strange if he had, 
for these were the men who had brought him to his 
death. As for Celtic Scotland she has long taken 
him to her heart. He is her chosen hero, the only 


Lowlander who has ever entered the sacred circle of 
Gaelic folk-tale and song. Under him the Celt reached 
his apotheosis, and for one short year held the Saxon 
in the hollow of his hand. Clan rivalries have been 
forgotten in the homage to a racial hero. As the old 
gillie on the Beauly said, " My name is Campbell, but 
my heart is with the great Montrose." ^^"^ 

On the political side Montrose was a modern man, as 
modern as Burke or Canning, and speaking a language 
far more intelligible to our ears than that of the Butes 
and Dundases of a later Scotland. The seventeenth- 
century, in most ways an epoch of reaction, produced 
two curiously premature characters in the great marquis 
and Sir George Mackenzie ; ^^^^^ but Mackenzie, being 
a lawyer, made a sharp distinction between theory and 
practice, and while his theory was modern his practice 
was of the Dark Ages ; whereas Montrose knew no 
cleavage between thoughts and deeds. It is not enough 
to say that he was in advance of his day. Most great 
men have been that. They saw several stages ahead, 
and tried to expedite the slow process of time. Some, 
agam, such as Bolingbroke and Shelburne and in a 
fashion Disraeli, half from a sense of paradox and half 
from insight, threw out ideas which were to fructify after- 
wards in a form of which they had not dreamed. But 
Montrose was before his time, not from paradox or 
from hurry, but because almost alone in his age he 
looked clearly at the conditions of all government. 


and, having formed his conclusions, was not deterred 
by prudence or self-interest from acting upon them. 
He saw behind the sanctions of religion to the crazy 
reaction of the Kirk ; he saw behind the catchwords 
of democracy to an oligarchical purpose ; he saw behind 
an outward cloak of law to the ultimate certainty of 
anarchy. He realized that there must be one central 
authority, incontestable and inviolate so long as it ful- 
filled the conditions of its being. As has been already 
pointed out, he had none of the contemporary belief 
in Divine Right, and he was willing to accept any 
form of government, provided it fulfilled the require- 
ments which are indispensable in all governments. He 
had no excessive reverence for a king as such, and very 
little for a nobility ; he would not have shrunk from 
the views of Cromwell's Ironsides as to the historical 
origin of the peerage, which so scandalized worthy Mr. 
Richard Baxter.^^^^^ But like Burke he had a natural 
preference for monarchy, because it happened to be 
the form in existence in his land. The central power, 
however constituted, springs from the free people and 
is limited by the law of God, the law of nations, and 
the law of the land. Parliaments are the guardians of 
popular rights, the watch-dogs of liberty, and they 
must be free and frequent ; but they are not in them- 
selves the central authority, but only part of it. Their 
powers of change are limited by the law fundamental 
and by the right of veto in the monarch. It should be 


noted that the legislative supremacy of Parliament is an 
eighteenth-century doctrine, and one by no means rooted 
in our constitutional history. It was an innovation which 
cost us the American colonies ; and it would appear that 
to-day we are moving away from it again, and returning 
to that direct appeal to the people which is at the 
bottom of the old talk about the " law fundamental." 

This central authority, whatever form it takes, is 
the people's creation, and therefore it is foolish to 
consider that it and the people are " two contraries, 
like the two scales of a balance, when the one goes 
up the other goes down," and that "what power is 
taken from the king is added to the estates of the 
people." ^"*^ The central authority is the nation : if 
they weaken it they weaken themselves ; and what 
power is taken from it goes not to the citizens at 
large but to sects and factions of subjects, the nobles 
who are always lying in wait to encroach upon 
the people and the people's king. Montrose saw 
clearly that a direct plebiscitary government was im- 
possible in the Scotland of his day. The authority 
must be delegated to safe and competent hands, and 
those who favoured plebiscitary government sought 
power not for the people but for themselves — "as a 
cunning tennis player lets a ball go to the wall where 
it cannot stay, that he may take it at the bound with 
more ease." We must be on our guard against reading 
more into this philosophy of politics than Montrose 


meant. He was not a democrat in our modern sense, 
for the common people in his day were scarcely con- 
scious of political rights, and needed rather to be 
wisely protected than to be endowed with ill-under- 
stood duties. But, in contrast to his generation, he saw 
that with the whole community rests the sanction of 
government, and that any disturbance of the equipoise 
in the distribution of public duties would not add to 
popular liberty, but by increasing anarchy augment the 
power of this or that oligarchical faction. The law is 
the only safeguard of the plain man ; it is the true 
monarch, of which the king is but the creature. He 
is altogether free from any mediaeval political ideas 
either as to monarchy or religion. The Kirk must 
be free in spiritual matters, which are her province, 
but if she meddle in civil government there will only 
be confusion. He saw government not as a ready-m.ade 
thing sprung full-grown from some divine ordinance, but 
as a slow growth, an organism perfected by degrees with 
checks and balances. In his Discourse on Sovereignty and 
his many declarations there is scarcely an idea which 
is not modern ; and, what is far rarer, the application 
is modern too. 

Open Burke anywhere. " I see no other way for 
the preservation of a decent attention to public interest 
in the representatives, but the interposition of the body 
of the people itself, whenever it shall appear, by some 
flagrant and notorious act, by some capital innovation, 


that the representatives are going to overleap the 
fences of the law, and to introduce an arbitrary power." 
It is Montrose's defence first for signing the Covenant, 
and then for taking up arms against it. " Here it says 
to an encroaching prerogative, * Your sceptre has its 
length, you cannot add a hair to your head or a gem to 
your crown but what an eternal law has given to it.' 
Here it says to an overweening peerage, * Your pride 
finds banks that it cannot overflow.' Here to a tumul- 
tuous and giddy people, ' There is a bed to the raging 
sea.' " It is Montrose's conception of constitutional 
law. Or again : " If civil society be the ofi^spring of 
convention, that convention must be its law. That 
convention must limit and modify all the descriptions 
of constitutions which are formed under it. Every 
sort of legislative, judicial, or executive powers are its 
creatures. They can have no being in any other state 
of things ; and how can any man claim, under the 
convention of civil society, rights which do not so 
much as suppose its existence — rights which are abso- 
lutely repugnant to it ? " ^"5) jj- \^ Montrose's case 
against the encroachments of the Kirk. He took the 
historical as opposed to the metaphysical view of 
human institutions, and, moreover, in his practical 
interpretation he has curiously anticipated the modern 
attitude. He could have little part in an age when 
men believed that kings and aristocracies and Kirks 
were mystically ordained of God. 


It has been the fashion, even among his warmest 
admirers, to represent him as no statesman, and to 
exalt Argyll by contrast. If for " statesman " we read 
"politician" there is truth in the comment. Montrose, 
in the game of parliamentary intrigues, was easily 
surpassed by his rival. Nor did he read the temper of 
the people with the accuracy of Argyll, or the possi- 
bilities of the moment with the practical acumen of 
Cromwell. He was an optimist about his dreams ; he 
saw the Lowland peasantry looking for a deliverer, 
when they regarded him as a destroyer ; he did not 
understand the depth of the antipathy of Saxon to Celt, 
or how utterly the use of Alastair's men prejudiced his 
cause ; he looked for loyalty in quarters where he 
found only self-interest, and courage among those who 
had it not. As a politician Argyll was far wiser in his 
generation ; he cut his cloak according to his cloth, 
and, at any rate, he completed it. The trouble was 
that the cloak turned out to be no shelter against the 
storm. If Montrose failed, so did Argyll, and with a 
far more hopeless failure. Of all that he had built 
nothing remained. The theocracy on which, not from 
fanaticism, but from cold prudence, he had founded his 
power, crumbled beneath him. He was to live to call 
his associates " madmen," and to confess to his son that 
he was a distracted man living in a distracted time. 
His conduct towards Charles the Second in the matter 
of the signing of the Covenant and the offer of his 


daughter's hand, his intrigues with Cromwell, and his 
behaviour at the Restoration deprive him of the 
defence which can be put forward for an honest fanatic. 
His parliamentary reforms of 1640 ^"^^ are usually- 
quoted to his credit, for he is said to have liberalized 
the basis of representation. Yet the power remained 
with the nobles and the Kirk, and the Scottish 
people were as far off as ever from a voice in their 
government. Argyll played patiently and adroitly for 
his own hand, and failed ; as he in no way thought of 
posterity, posterity has little motive to think of him. 

Montrose was a most fallible politician ; did he also 
fail as a statesman ? Statesmanship requires two 
qualities — the conception of wise ends, and the percep- 
tion of adequate means. Essentially it works by 
compromises, accepting the second and third best as an 
instalment, and by slow degrees leading the people to 
acquiesce in an ideal which they have come to regard 
as their own invention. It must judge shrewdly the 
situation of the moment, and know precisely what 
elements therein are capable of providing the first stage 
in the great advance. It must have infinite patience 
and infinite confidence in the slow processes of time. 
Such a gift Montrose did not possess ; indeed it may 
be questioned whether the nature of the problem 
before his age permitted of such evolutionary methods. 
There was no material to his hand in the shape of a 
nation at least partially instructed and a band of like- 


minded colleagues. Seventeenth-century Britain pro- 
duced no statesman in this full sense, no Cavour or 
Alexander Hamilton. But one of its two constituents 
he possessed, if it be part of statesmanship to see far 
ahead and to stand, in Mr, Gardiner's phrase, for " the 
hope of the future." He stood for the Scottish 
democracy both against those who would crush it 
and those who betrayed it with a kiss. Here, as in his 
defence of toleration, lies his kinship with Cromwell. 
The Lord Protector fought for " the poor godly 
people ; " Montrose for the plain folk without any 
qualification. Both were idealists, striving for some- 
thing which their age could not give them. Montrose 
had one obstacle in his way above all others, and that 
was Scotland. Her jealous nationalism was not ripe, 
even had the century been ripe, for his far-sighted 
good sense. She was still hugging to her heart her 
own fantastic creations, her covenants, her barren 
survivals, her peculiar royalism ; still jealous of the 
south, and prepared to sacrifice reason and prosperity 
to her pride. If Cromwell shipwrecked upon the 
gross and genial materialism of England, Montrose no 
less split upon the rock of the mediaeval conservatism 
of his own land. Scotland was not ready for civic 
ideals or luminous reason. She had not found the 
self-confidence which was to give her a far truer and 
deeper national pride. She had still to tread for 
long years the path of coarse and earthy compromises. 


lit by flashes of crazy quixotry, till through suffering 
and poverty she came at last to find her own soul. 
Montrose was too far in advance of his age, he was too 
far in advance of England at her best, but he was 
utterly and eternally beyond the ken of seventeenth- 
century Scotland. Yet of the two great idealists he has 
had the happier destiny. Cromwell, brilliantly suc- 
cessful for the moment, built nothing which lasted. 
Except for his doctrine of toleration, he left no heritage 
of political thought which the world has used. The 
ideals of Montrose, on the other hand, are in the very 
warp and woof of the constitutional fabric of to-day. 

The moderate man rarely appeals to arms. He sees 
too clearly the values on both sides to commit himself 
to a desperate hazard. But there is a moderation 
which is in itself a fire, where enthusiasm burns as 
fiercely for the whole truth as it commonly does for 
half-truths, where toleration becomes not merely a 
policy, but in itself an act of religion. Such inspired 
moderation is usually found in an age of violent con- 
traries. Henri the Fourth of France possessed it, as 
did William the Silent. Montrose, like Henri, was 
the one moderate man of his age ; and, like Henri too, 
he realized that it needs a fierce man to enforce modera- 
tion in a rabble of fanatics and debauchees. Therefore 
he drew the sword. 

No revolution has ever been effected or suppressed 
except by force of arms. If men's passions are deeply 


stirred, there must be an appeal to the last and sternest 
arbitrament. It is the soldier who turns the scale, 
whether it be Caesar's army of Gaul, or the Puritan 
New Model, or Washington's militia, or Napoleon's 
Grand Arm6e, or Garibaldi's Thousand, or Lincoln's 
citizen levies. A Holies or a Vane may dream his 
dreams, but it is Cromwell who brings his into being, 
Montrose both courted and warred against a revolution. 
He desired to preserve the monarchy as against its 
anarchical assailants, but he was as ardent a revolu- 
tionist as Lilburne in his crusade against the existing 
regime in Scotland, with its stupid tyranny of Kirk and 
nobles. In such a strife the soldier must speak the 
ultimate word. 


As a soldier Montrose ranks by common consent 
with the greatest of his age, with Cromwell and Cond^. 
He has been described by Mr. J. W. Fortescue in his 
classic History of the British Army as " perhaps the 
most brilliant natural military genius disclosed by the 
civil war." ^"^^ Like Cromwell, he seems to have 
learned his art rather by intuition than by experience, 
for till his great campaign his only training was the 
inglorious First Bishops' War. He had never, like 
Leven and Leslie, served under a great foreign general ; 
he was as unprofessional as Rupert, and, like him, he 


had that natural eye for country and dispositions, that 
power of quick resolution, and that magnetism of 
leadership which discomfited the more prosaic com- 
manders who found themselves opposed to him. He 
had learned the lesson of which his friend, the Cardinal 
de Retz, has given a famous epitome : " II n'y a rien 
dans le monde qui n'ait son moment decisif ; et le chef 
d'oeuvre de la bonne conduite est de connaitre et de 
prendre ce moment." It has been sometimes urged 
that it is easy to over-praise Montrose's military 
capacity, since he usually fought against inferior troops 
and incompetent generals, and that on the only occa- 
sions on which he met a commander of ability and a 
seasoned army he was defeated. But the argument 
does not bear examination. The men he scattered at 
Tippermuir and Aberdeen were, it is true, raw levies, 
though present in great numerical superiority ; but 
they were precisely the men with whom he had been 
victorious in his first war, and his conquering High- 
landers were of the race which* he had routed when 
they fought under- Aboyne in 1639. At Inverlochy he 
had against him the best disciplined of the Highland 
clans, and Auchinbreck had ten times his own experi- 
ence of war. At Dundee and Auldearn and Alford he 
faced regular cavalry and foot, the pick of the men 
who had won renown under Leven in England ; and 
Hurry and Baillie were among the most skilled com- 
manders of the day. Philiphaugh and Carbisdale are 


too much unlike normal battles to be made the basis 
for any judgment of one side or the other. No doubt 
Montrose's Highland and Irish levies, nourished on 
beef and game, were of a more stalwart physical type 
than the bannock-fed Lowlanders. But the regular 
Covenant foot were stout fellows, and they had the 
priceless advantage of a high discipline and freedom 
from the endless clan jealousies. So far as equipment 
goes, Montrose won his victories in the face of crushing 

As a strategist he showed an extraordinary eye for 
country. The tangled passes of the Grampians, little 
known except in patches to the different clans, were 
grasped by him as a geographical whole, and he 
arranged his marches accordingly. He had a boldness, 
too, which staggered even those inured to mountain 
warfare, and his flank march before Inverlochy seemed 
both to friends and foes beyond the limits of human 
possibility. His incredible speed was a further stra- 
tegical advantage, for he could march over twenty 
miles in a single night among snowy mountains, as in 
his pursuit of Argyll in December 1644, or in thirty- 
six hours cover seventy miles with fighting between, as 
at Dundee. This swiftness, indeed, was apt to be a 
snare to him. He despised his slower enemies, and 
was twice almost caught, at Fyvie and Dundee, before 
the final surprise came at Philiphaugh. For strategy 
in the widest sense he was given no scope. He could 


not plan a campaign to correspond with the king's in 
England, for his hands were tied by the composition of 
his army. His Highlanders would not fight south of 
the Highland line, and they deserted in troops after 
each victory. Under such conditions there could be 
no continuity of purpose, and the marvel is that 
Kilsyth was ever fought. We can say at any rate that 
Montrose was fully alive to the need of the larger 
strategical intention, and it was only the lack of 
response from the English side that confined him to 
mountain warfare. With such a force as Charles 
repeatedly frittered away he would have swept these 
islands from Sutherland to Devon. 

In tactics he had the supreme gift of suiting his 
scheme of battle to his material, using his horse now 
as mounted infantry and now as cavalry, and getting 
full value from the impetuous Highland charge. His 
power of rapid decision never failed him, and in the 
stress of fight he could keep his head and alter his 
arrangements at the shortest notice. As proofs we 
have the sudden strengthening of the left wing at 
Aberdeen, and his rapid dispositions in the hurry of 
the surprise before Auldearn, as well as the marvellous 
retreat from Dundee. At leisure he could dispose a 
battle with great skill, as at Alford, and could defy 
the ordinary rules of war with success, as at Kilsyth. 
Kilsyth is, indeed, an interesting case, for there is 
every reason to believe that Montrose deliberately 


chose what seemed to be the worse position. He was 
probably convinced that the Covenanters, finding them- 
selves with the hill in their favour, would take some 
foolish risk, and he counted on the power of his 
Highlanders to charge up a slope and arrive unwearied 
at the top. He knew, too, the value of the sudden 
word in the stress of battle to turn the tide ; and his 
insight into the hearts of fighting men was at least 
as great a factor in his success as his tactical skill. 

More notable than his gifts of strategy and tactics, 
was his unique power of leadership. He welded into 
an army the most heterogeneous materials on earth. 
He discovered the fighting value of the clans, of 
which his kinsman, Claverhouse, was to offer a further 
proof. Hitherto it had seemed impossible to band 
two minor septs together for one purpose for more 
than a week ; Montrose united the whole • central 
Highlands in a campaign of a year's duration. Nor 
did he win this strange authority by any pandering to 
the vices of savage warfare. Except for the sack of 
Aberdeen, there is no stain on his record. He refused 
to turn the captured cannon on the fugitives at 
Tippermuir ; he tried to check the slaughter after 
Inverlochy ; he punished looting severely, as at 
Glasgow ; unlike his opponents he observed scrupu- 
lously the etiquette of war ; he never put a prisoner 
to death, not even when his dearest friends were 
being murdered by the Estates. He did not stoop 


like his opponents to the methods of the dirk and 
the ambuscade. Remember, he was no fire-eating 
giant like Alastair, but a slim young man of middle 
height, somewhat grave and courtly in his manner, 
and fonder of a book than a drinking-bout. Yet no 
iron-fisted Hercules ever kept a wilder force in a 
sterner discipline. The man who at Dundee could 
draw off half-tipsy troops in the middle of a sack in 
the face of a superior enemy, and lead them, weary 
as they were, for thirty miles in the thick of night 
to the safety of the hills, had miraculous gifts as a 
leader. We may search for long in the records of 
war to find an equal achievement. 

Cromwell also had that moral authority which fused 
the forces under him into a single weapon for his 
hand to direct. But Cromwell, except at Dunbar, 
fought with numbers on his side, and he had the 
supreme advantage that his men were largely bound 
already by the tie of a strong religious faith. For 
Montrose there was no such assistance. It was per- 
sonal authority and personal authority alone that kept 
Gordon and Macdonald in the same firing line. The 
two great captains were never fated to meet, and 
their relative prowess must remain in the realm of 
hypothetics. Mr. Gardiner rates Montrose the higher. 
" On the battlefield," he says, " Montrose had all 
Cromwell's promptness in seizing the chances of the 

strife, together with a versatility in varying his tactics 
(1,744) 19 


according to the varying resources of the enemy, to 
which Cromwell could lay no claim, whilst his skill 
as a strategist was certainly superior to that of his 
English contemporary."'"^^ Probably the judgment 
is just. At any rate we can say that Montrose per- 
formed feats not inferior to Cromwell's best, against 
•far greater odds, and with far inferior resources. 

In virtue of his achievements he is probably the 
greatest Scottish man of action, and it may be argued 
with some force that he is the greatest of Scottish 
generals. From a modern standpoint we cannot judge 
fairly the exploits of Bruce and Wallace, and among 
modern Scottish soldiers it is hard to see who is 
to be put above him. Not Frederick the Great's 
Marshal Keith, nor Napoleon's Marshal Macdonald ; 
they were skilful brigadiers, but they never revealed 
that originality and mastery in a campaign which 
Montrose showed in 1644-5. Possibly Sir John 
Moore, if he had lived, and if he can be ranked as 
a Scot, would have come nearest to him. If we leave 
him out, it is difficult to find a rival among the many 
brilliant commanders that Scotland has given to the 
British army. He is the only Scot who approaches 
that small and charmed inner circle of the profession 
of arms, which contains no other British names than 
Marlborough and Wellington. 



Few careers have more romantic unity than his. 
In one aspect he is the complete paladin, full of grace 
and courtesy, winning fights against odds, and scribbling 
immortal songs in his leisure, and in the end dying 
like some antique hero with the lights burning low 
in the skies and the stage darkened. But there have 
been other paladins before who have done the same. 
What gives Montrose his historical, his deep philo- 
sophical importance is that aspect we have already 
discussed — the fact that he read as no one else did 
the riddle of his times, that he preached a doctrine of 
government that had to wait nearly two hundred years 
till it could be restated with some hope of acceptance. 
His merit is that in that fierce seventeenth century, 
when men died for half-truths and less, when the 
great forces of the State were apt to be selfish com- 
petitors for material gain, and the idealists were driven 
into the wilds or over-seas — in that gross and turbid 
time he lit the lamp of pure duty and pure reason. 
There were those who did their duty, but it was too 
often blindly. There were those who loved reason, but 
they either fled from the struggle or, like Falkland, 
fought with an air of martyrs rather than soldiers. 
Montrose was armed and mailed Reason, Philosophy 
with its sword unsheathed. In truth he is a far rarer 
and stranger type than the quietist who has fascinated 


historians, or even than the grim Ironside — " the most 
formidable of combinations, the practical mystic." 
He had all the calm lucidity of a Falkland, but he 
had none of his melancholy and despair. He went 
out joyfully to do battle for his creed, with the un- 
quenchable faith of a strong soul. He was as passion- 
ate and stubborn in his cause as any Ironside, but he 
was no fanatic ; he was not even any kind of mystic. 
He saw life very clearly and calmly, and his daemonic 
force did not come, as it so often comes, from a hectic 
imagination or a fevered brain. The springs of his 
being were a pellucid reasonableness of soul, joined 
to a power of absorption in duty which is commonly 
found only in the ranks of fanaticism. 

It is a figure that must always haunt those who 
travel the rough roads of Scottish history. We see 
him in the gorgeous clothes which still dazzle us in 
his portraits, the long, north-country face, the broad 
brow, the inscrutable grey eyes. He is thinking, 
wondering, puzzling out the needs of his land, while 
others are preying on them. Then he reaches his 
conclusion, and, with something between the certainty 
of the thinker and the gaiety of the boy, he sets out 
on his hopeless errand. He is happy, boyishly happy, 
for he has no misgivings, and he cares little for what 
befalls him. He fights all the more fiercely because 
his cause is pure, and has nothing selfish in it. But 
he is always very human, very much the man, for 


Alastair and his kerns would never have followed 
an ordinary dreamer. And then, when his last blow 
is struck, he has neither fears nor reproaches. Clearly 
and reasonably he states his defence, and when it is 
flouted and he is condemned to a shameful death, he 
takes it meekly, knowing something of the fallibility 
of mankind. He awes the Edinburgh mob into a 
hush by his appearance ; his enemies said that it was 
his fine clothes and noble looks ; but we read it 
otherwise as that inward light, that vision splendid, 
which is the beatitude of the pure in heart. The 
Cardinal de Retz judged truly : Montrose is the 
eternal type of the heroic. 

" This is the happy Warrior ; this is he 
What every man in arms should wish to be." 


Contemporary Sources, — The chief MS. authorities for Montrose's 
career were collected and published by Mark Napier in his 
exhaustive Memorials of Montrose (Maitland Club, 2 vols., 1850). 
They contain the result of his researches among the charter chests 
of the Huntly, Napier, Wigton, Southesk, Hamilton, and Montrose 
families, as well as among the Wodrow MS. in the Advocates' 
Library, and the state papers in the Scottish Register House. 
Mr. S. R. Gardiner's Charles II. and Scotland iti 1650 (Scottish 
History Society, 1894) contains some further documents that 
escaped Napier's eye. 

Of contemporary biographies Wishart's great Life stands first. 
The first edition in Latin was published, probably at the Hague or 
Amsterdam, in 1647. A second edition was issued in Paris in 
1648, a third in the same year, and a fourth in 1649. An English 
translation appeared, probably in 1647, at the Hague, and was 
reprinted in 1648 and 1649. In 1652 the same translation, with 
additions consisting of a continuation of Wishart's Part I. by a 
different hand, and an account of Montrose's trial and death, was 
issued in London under the title of Montrose Redivivus. A new 
translation with various letters and additional notes appeared in 
1720, and a revised version was published by Ruddiman in Edin- 
burgh in 1756. This was reprinted with some further notes by 


Constable in 18 19. Finally, in 1893, Canon Murdoch and Dr. 
Morland Simpson issued, under the title Deeds of Montrose, a 
complete edition of both parts of Wishart's Latin narrative, with a 
new English version, and three new chapters on Montrose's years 
of exile, largely based on the Danish and Swedish archives. This 
will probably rank as the definitive edition, and the editors' 
learned and ample notes cannot be over-praised. [In the succeed- 
ing notes, Wishart's text is referred to by its chapters, and when a 
page is indicated the reference is to the Latin text in this edition. 
The editor's own contributions are quoted as " M. & S., p. — ."] 

Wishart was in prison till after the battle of Kilsyth, and his 
account of the earlier campaigns is based upon hearsay, and, since 
he was no soldier, is sometimes confusing ; but from the period 
after Kilsyth till the last return to Scotland, his authority is 
excellent. Other contemporary, or nearly contemporary, narratives 
are Briiane's Disteviper by Patrick Gordon (Spalding Club, 1852), 
which is useful for the campaigns, and provides a defence of the 
House of Huntly ; Gordon of Sallagh's continuation of the History 
of the Earls of Sutherland (Edinburgh, 181 3), and Gwynne's 
Military Memoirs (Edinburgh, 1822) — both useful for the final 
campaign ; Spalding's Memorials of the Troubles (Spalding Club, 
1851); the Rev. Robert Baillie's Letters and Journals (Edinburgh, 
1841); Bishop Guthrie's Memoirs (Glasgow, 1747); Sir James 
Turner's Memoirs (Maitland Club, 1829); Carte's Ormonde Papers 
(1739); and Johnston of Wariston's Diary (Scottish History 
Society, 191 1). There are also the Scottish Acts of Parliament, 
the Records of the Commission of the General Assembly, and 
a large literature of pamphlets, some of which are referred to in 
subsequent notes. 

Modern Biographies. — First must rank Mark Napier's three books, 
Montrose and the Covenanters (Edinburgh, 2 Vols., 1838), Life and 
Times of Montrose {i2>^o),a.x\<\Me>noirs of Montrose (2 Vols., 1856) — 
the last being the final form of the work. Napier is a keen partisan, 

NOTES. 297 

and writes in the heroic manner, but he is acute and laborious, 
and it is his honourable distinction to have placed Montrose's 
reputation on a new basis. He is the quarry from which all 
succeeding biographers must draw. [In the following notes 
" Napier " means the Memoirs of Montrose. The Memorials of 
Montrose are cited as Memorials of M\ Other monographs on 
the subject are scarce. The only two known to me are Mowbray 
Morris's Montrose (London, 1892; "English Men of Action" 
Series), a brilliant and judicial sketch, and Mrs. Hugh Pryce's 
The Great Alarquis of Montrose (London, 191 2), a careful and most 
enthusiastic appreciation. I should also mention the fine study 
of Montrose's politics and his relation to the two Covenants con- 
tributed by Lord President Inglis to Blackwood's Magazine of 
November 1887. 

General Histories. — Till recent years Montrose has not tared 
(veil with the historians of the period. Bishop Burnet, as the 
Hamilton champion, is naturally hostile, and even Clarendon, a 
fellow loyalist, is inclined to be grudging. More recent writers, 
such as Laing and Brodie and Hill Burton, have been uniformly 
unfavourable, and even the great Hallam repeats without examina- 
tion certain baseless charges. Our modern Scottish historian, Mr. 
Hume Brown, in his admirable History of Scotland., is, for so just 
a writer, curiously carping in his references. Mr. Gardiner, how- 
ever, has made amends both in his great History and in an article 
in the Edinburgh Revinv for January 1894. His estimate remains 
the fairest and most complete that we possess. Mr. Andrew Lang 
in his History of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1900-6) has done 
full justice, as we should expect, to the "most sympathetic figure 
in Scottish history." An admirable picture of Montrose and a pene- 
trating study of the whole ethos of the religious wars will be found 
in Mr. W. L, Mathieson's Politics and Religion : a Study in Scottish 
History from the Reformation to the Revolution (Glasgow, 1902). 

Poetry and Romance. — It is strange that a career so full of 


romance as Montrose's has been so little used for the purposes of 
imaginative literature. In poetry, apart from Wishart's Latin 
verses, we have only the Gaelic songs of Ian Lorn Macdonald, and 
W. E. Aytoun's " The Execution of Montrose " — the best of his 
Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers. In fiction there is, of course, the 
Legend of Montrose, in which, however, the great marquis is a 
minor character, and, let it be said, something of a lay figure. 
Scott never carried out his intention of making Montrose the hero 
of a full-length novel. Hogg deals with the battle of Philiphaugh 
in his spirited tale, Wat Pringle d the Yair. Two other romances 
may be mentioned : Mr. J. A. Steuart's The Red Reaper (1895), a 
vigorous story of the campaigns, and Mr. Neil Munro's John 
Splendid (1898), which contains a brilliant picture of the raid into 
Lorn and the fight at Inverlochy. 

Note i. — A full description of Montrose's person by Thomas 
Saintserf, the son of the Bishop of Galloway and a companion of 
his early travels, will be found attached to the Relation of the True 
Funerals, 1661. See Napier I. 92. Another description, probably 
by Saintserf, is found in the Montrose Rediviviis. One of the 
best is by Patrick Gordon in Britatte's Distemper, 76. See also 
Burnet's History of his own Time, I., 53. An account of 
Montrose's undergraduate tastes is given by Saintserf in his 
dedicatory epistle to the second Marquis of Montrose appended to 
his translation of M. de Marmet's Entertainments of the Course^ 
1658. For a mass of personal details of his boyhood and youth 
see Napier, I., passim. There are three portraits which may be 
regarded as authentic: (i.) The portrait by Jameson in the 
collection of the Earl of Southesk at Kinnaird Castle. It was 
painted in 1629 as a wedding present (see p. 18). (2 ) The 
portrait by Dobson (probably about 1644) in the collection of the 

NOTES. 299 

Duke of Montrose at Buchanan Castle. It has been attributed to 
Vandyke, who died at the end of 1641, but it is hard to see how 
he could have had a sitting from Montrose. (3.) The splendid 
portrait by Honthorst (Gherardo dalle Notte), painted in 1649 fo"" 
Elisabeth of Bohemia, and now in the collection of the Earl of 
Dalhousie at Brechin Castle. There are various engravings, none 
of them contemporary. 

Note 2. — Napier, I. 104. 

Note 3. — Marischal had an odd career. He was a signatory to 
the Cumbernauld Bond, but afterwards became a Covenanter and 
was at Fyvie with Argyll, where his brother was killed. He 
opposed Montrose after Inverlochy, but later became an Engager, 
and was out in Pluscardine's rising. 

Note 4. — Clarendon. 

Note 5. — As the Bond was burned the world was left to guess 
its nature from hostile descriptions, till Mark Napier discovered 
a copy in the handwriting of the Lord Lyon, Sir James Balfour. 
See Napier, I. 269-70. 

Note 6. — Act of 1584, cap. 134, and 1585, cap. 10. The 
punishment was reduced by 6 Geo. IV. cap. 47 and abolished 
by 7 Will. IV. cap. 5. According to Baillie it had never been put 
in force before (I. 381-2). It was the Act under which Mr. Old- 
buck in The Antiquary threatened vengeance upon Mrs. Mac- 
leuchar, the proprietrix of the Queensferry diligence. 

Note 7. — In the first edition of Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion (Oxford 1702-4) Montrose is accused of offering to the 
king, at a private interview, to make away with Hamilton and 
Argyll. This story was repeated by most historians, though 
discredited by Hume on general grounds. In 1826, however, 
a new edition of Clarendon was published, collated with the 
original MS. in the Bodleian, and containing many suppressed 
passages. In this the original version of the incident was restored, a 
version which I have followed and which is now generally accepted. 


Note 8. — This was the code of law to which Montrose appealed 
at his trial in 1650. It sheds an interesting light on seventeenth- 
century legal views. Till after the Restoration the "law funda- 
mental," or the "law of the land," was regarded as something 
beyond the reach of legislative change. Magna Charta was a 
solemn embodiment of one portion of this law. In 1604 the 
Speaker of the House of Commons divided the laws into (i) the 
Common Law, not mutable, (2) the Positive Law, to be altered by 
the occasion of the times, and (3) customs and usages which have 
time's approbation. This distinction appears in Sir Walter 
Raleigh's Prerogative of Parliaments and was repeatedly made by 
Cromwell. Sir Edward Coke maintained that the function of the 
king and Parliament was not "jus dare" but "jus dicere" — to 
''declare the law." The doctrine of the legislative sovereignty of 
Parliament was first put forward by the Long Parliament and 
acquiesced in by the statesmen of the Restoration. 

Note 9. — See the letter of an English soldier in Scotland (Sept. 
1650), quoted by Lang, III. 204. 

Note 10. — Memorials (Edited by C. Kirkpatrick Sharpe, 

Note ii. — Cromwell's Letters and Speeches (Ed. by Lomas), 
II. 78-79. 

Note 12. — The texts of this famous song vary considerably. 
Napier (I. App.), prints a large number of verses. Montrose's 
poems are printed in an appendix to Napier's Montrose and the 
Covenanters^ and have lately been edited by Mr. R. S. Rait of 
New College (London, 1901). 

Note 13. — Sir James Rollo or Rollock was the eldest son of 
the Laird of Duncrub, who was made a peer by Charles II. in 
1651. He married first Montrose's sister Dorothea, and secondly 
Argyll's half-sister. Lady Mary Campbell. He was present at 
Inverlochy, and fled in Argyll's boat. He was among the com- 
pany at Montrose's funeral in 1661. His brother, Sir William, 

NOTES. 301 

was Montrose's faithful companion till he was executed at Glasgow 
after Philiphaugh. 

Note 14. — This was the second earl, who died at White- 
hall, October 5, 1644. His son George, the third earl, joined 
Montrose after Tippermuir, and was a loyal adherent of the 
Royalist cause till his death in Orkney in the autumn of 1649. 
His brother became fourth earl, and died of starvation during 
Montrose's flight to Assynt. A younger brother, who saved the 
royal standard after Philiphaugh, became fifth earl, and made 
a sensational escape from Edinburgh Castle in 1654. See, how- 
ever, on the fourth and fifth earls, Note 90. 

Note 15.— See Montrose's "Instructions to Lord Ogilvy," 
Napier, II. 406-9. 

Note 16. — Memorials of M., II. 146. 
Note 17. — Great Civil War, II. 132. 

Note 18. — Lang, IIL 116; Napier, II. 399-402; Spalding, II. 
379; Memoir of the Somervilles (Edin. 1815). 

IsfOTE 19. — Wishart anticipates and calls him "Earl of 
Tullibardine." He succeeded his father as fourth earl four 
days after the battle. Military History of Perthshire, I. 252. 

Note 20. — The narrative of the battle is based on Memorials 
of M., II. 149, Wishart, Spalding, and Patrick Gordon. Mr. 
Gardiner provides an admirable account, Great Civil War, II. 
139-42. The story of an Irish officer who was present is to be 
found in Carte's Ormonde Papers, I. 73. See also Military 
History of Perthshire, I. 251 
Note 21. — See Note 14. 

Note 22. — Mr. Gardiner assumes that Montrose left Perth 
with the intention of meeting Balfour at Aberdeen ; but Wishart 
(ch. vi.) says clearly that he did not get news of Balfour's army 
till he was in Angus. Probably he went there merely to recruit, 
for news from Aberdeen would be slow to travel south. 
Note 21.— Great Civil War, II. 143. 


Note 24. — Frendraught was the son of the grim hero of the 
"The Fire of Frendraught," and was born about 1620. He was 
with Montrose in his last campaign, and assisted him to escape 
after Carbisdale. The story of his suicide after the battle, given 
by the old peerage writers, and accepted by the Dictionary oj 
National Biography, is without foundation. He lived till 1664 or 
1665. See Napier, 11. App. vi., and Balfour Paul's The Scots 
Peerage, IV. 129-30. 

Note 25. — Wishart's account of the battle is confused, and 
Mr. Gardiner in his reconstruction depends chiefly upon Partick 

Note 26. — The only authority for the atrocities is Spalding 
(H. 406, etc.), who, however, enumerates no women in his list of 
victims. Patrick Gordon, whom Mr. Gardiner cites, does not 
mention them, nor is there any reference to them in the Burgh 
Records of Aberdeen. Spalding gives 118 as the total number 
slain in the battle and afterwards, which scarcely suggests a 
massacre. Baillie, writing as a Covenanter, merely says that 
" the town was well plundered." Alexander Jaffray in his Diary 
(London 1834) mentions the slaying of women and children, but, 
since he fled as fast as his horse would carry him, he cannot be 
taken as an authority on what happened after the fight. Still 
the evidence of the Royalist Spalding is hard to get over. 

Note 27. — " Montrose hasted into the town to save it from being 
plundered, whereby it had little loss save by those who were killed 
in the battle." A True Relation, etc., 1644 — a pamphlet in the 
Bodleian, cited by M. and S., liii. 

Note 28. — Gardiner says that the guns were buried at Rothic; 
murchus (H. 149). Wishart says simply in palustri quodam 
loco" (ch. vi. 374). Patrick Gordon gives the locality as between 
Strathdon and Strathavon. According to Wishart, Huntly dug 
them up and appropriated them after Philiphaugh. So the cache 
was probably nearer the Gordon centre than Rothiemurchus. 

NOTES. 303 

Note 29. — His name is spelt variously O'Kean, O'Cahan, 
O'Kyan, and MacGahan. He was captured at Philiphaugh and 
hanged at Edinburgh without a trial. 

Note 30. — On diis point Mr. Gardiner's map (II. 151) is 
wrong. He makes Montrose go up Glen Lochay from Loch Tay, 
which would have meant a considerable circuit and the crossing 
of a high and difficult pass. Patrick Gordon (96-97) clearly 
describes Loch Dochart and the Macnab country. 

Note 31. — Wishart says that Montrose left Lorn on the 28th or 
29th of January. But he was at Kilcumin on Loch Ness on the 31st 
of January, and as a bond was signed there, he must have arrived 
by at least the 30th. From Lorn to Kilcumin was three or four 
days' march even for Montrose. Further, we know from Balfour's 
Annales 0/ Scotlattd {111. 256), that the Estates heard by the i8th 
of January, that Montrose had left Lorn and was in Glen Urquhart. 
This may have been a false report, but it is probable that the 
Royalists began to leave about the middle of the month, and 
that the rearguard had gone by the 26th at latest. 

Note 32. — The ordinary route given by Napier and others is 
by the Pass of Corrieyairack, down the sources of the Spey, and 
thence into Glen Roy. But such a road would have taken 
Montrose far too much to the east and over unnecessarily high 
ground. Dr. Morland Simpson, basing his view on the Clanranald 
MSS. {Reliquice Celtics, II. 185), has suggested a much more 
probable way — namely, up the Tarff, crossing above CuUachy; 
then parallel to the Canal till the Calder burn was struck above 
Aberchalder Lodge ; then ascending the burn and turning due 
south up the Alt-na-Larach till the headwaters of the Turritt were 
reached ; then south-west into Glen Roy along the " Parallel 
Roads." See Pryce's The Great Marquis of Monirose, 240 n. 

Note 33. — Highland tradition in general credits Montrose with 
descending upon Argyll by way of Glen Nevis. To do this it 
would be necessary to march to the head of Loch Treig, and then 


up Glen Treig, and so into Glen Nevis. This would mean a very 
long journey for very tired men, accompanied by several horses, 
and, in my view, an unnecessary toil, for Argyll would expect 
Montrose by the main road which descended the Lochy, and 
would be equally taken by surprise by a flank march along the 
northern skirts of Ben Nevis. Montrose would have good guides in 
the Camerons and Macdonalds to explain to him the configuration 
of the country. Mr. Hugh T. Munro, of Lindertis, whose topo- 
graphical knowledge of the Highlands is unrivalled, kindly informs 
me that he accepts the traditional view, but suggests as an alternative 
route that Montrose may have ascended the Alt-nan-Leacan, and 
crossed the Learg-nan-Leacan to half a mile west of the head of 
Loch Treig — the easiest pass over the range. I am inclined 
myself to think that the suffering from snowdrifts and ice was 
experienced on the first day's march to Glen Roy, and that on 
the ist of February Montrose contented himself with keeping to 
the skirts of Ben Nevis. This would seem to be also the view of 
Mr. Gardiner, Mr. Lang, and Messrs. Murdoch and Simpson. 

Note 34. — Patrick Gordon, 102. See also Wishart, and Carte's 
Ormofide Papers, 1. 76. 

Note 35. — Ian Lom's wild poem is worth quoting in Mark 
Napier's spirited translation : — 

" Heard ye not ! heard ye not ! how the whirlwind, the Gael, 
To Lochaber swept down from Loch Ness to Loch Eil — 
And the Campbells to meet them in battle array. 
Like the billow came on — and were broke like its spray? 
Long, long shall our war-song exult in that day. 

" 'Twas the Sabbath that rose, 'twas the Feast of St. Bride, 
When the rush of the clans shook Ben Nevis's side ; 
I, the Bard of their battles, ascended the height 
Where dark Inverlochy o'ershadowed the fight. 
And I saw the Clan Donnell resistless in might. 

NOTES. 305 

" Through the land of my fathers the Campbells have come, 
The flames of their foray enveloped my home ; 
Broad Keppoch in ruin is left to deplore, 
And my country is waste from the hill to the shore — ■ 
Be it so ! by St. Mary, there's comfort in store ! 

" Though the braes of Lochaber a desert be made, 
And Glen Roy may be lost to the plough and the spade, 
Though the bones of my kindred, unhonoured, unurned, 
Mark the desolate path where the Campbells have burned — 
Be it so ! From that foray they never returned. 

" Fallen race of Diarmaid ! disloyal, untrue, 
No harp in the Highlands will sorrow for you ; 
But the birds of Loch Eil are wheeling on high, 
And the Badenoch wolves hear the Camerons' cry — 
' Come feast ye ! come feast, where the false-hearted lie.'" 

Note 36. — Napier, II. 484-88. 

Note 37. — Wishart implies that Lord Lewis Gordon deserted 
before Dundee. Patrick Gordon (113) denies this, and in W. 
Gordon's History of the Illustrious Family of Gordon (II. 453), 
Lord Lewis's presence at Dundee is asserted on the authority of 
an eye-witness. Mr. Gardiner also agrees with this view, which 
is indeed inherently probable, for the Gordons would take the 
easiest road home, which lay through Angus, and would not miss 
the chance of a sack. 

Note 38. — Wishart makes it clear that Montrose left Dunkeld 
shortly before midnight on the 3rd of April. Mr. Gardiner (II. 219) 
says he left before dawn on the 3rd. The march was twenty-four 
miles, and the speed was evidently considered remarkable. But 
if Mr. Gardiner is right there would be nothing remarkable in 
doing twenty-four miles in thirty hours. 

(1.744) 20 


Note 39. — Wishart, ch. ix. 185, 

Note 40. — Wishart, ch. ix. 387. In Mr. Gardiner's map (II. 
217) the position of Careston Castle is not quite accurate, and 
the route up Glen Esk is wrongly given. 

Note 41. — Spalding, who is followed by Napier, makes a 
younger Stirling of Keir join Montrose in Menteith, but there 
does not appear to have been any such person. 

Note 42. — There seems to be no contemporary authority for 
the details of Montrose's march after fording the Dee at Balmoral. 
Mr. Gardiner's map takes him into Speyside; Napier, probably 
following some tradition, takes him to Skene, about ten miles 
from Aberdeen. Aboyne's raid on Aberdeen, of which there is 
no reason to doubt, would have been possible only from such a 
base as Skene. 

Note 43. — The tactics were those of Gustavus Adolphus, and 
their first use in Britain has been generally ascribed to Cromwell. 
See, however, as to Rupert's claim, Bulstrode's Memoirs, 81 (cited 
by Gardiner, Great Civil War, II. 146) and Fortescue's History 
of the British Army, I. 200. 

Note 44. — The battle of Auldearn has been brilliantly recon- 
structed by Mr. Gardiner (11. 223-27). The contemporary 
accounts by Wishart (ch. x.) and Patrick Gordon (123, etc.) are 
far from clear. The details of Alastair's exploits are from the 
Clanranald MSS. quoted by Napier, II. 303-4. 

Note 45. — Wishart says that Baillie gave up 1,000 men and got 
only "tirones et rudes" (ch. xi. 393). Baillie, the general, says 
he gave up 1,500 and got 400. Baillie's Letters and Journals, 
II. 409. 

Note 46. — The reconstruction of the battle is Mr. Gardiner's, 
(II. 280-3). Wishart's account is impossible to understand, and 
is obviously a collection of half-remembered stories from those 
who had been present. The figures of the numbers engaged are 
mainly taken from Wishart, whom Mr. Gardiner follows, though I 

NOTES. 307 

think the number of foot on both sides is put too high. Baillie in 
his own account greatly exaggerates the Royalist forces. See 
Baillie's Letters, II. 409, and Patrick Gordon, 128-35. 

Note 47. — Digby to Rupert, the 28th of July, cited by Gardiner, 
II. 283. 

Note 48. — Napier, II. 516. Saintserf seems to have travelled 
as a theological colporteur. 

Note 49. — Letters and Speeches (Ed. Lomas), III. 247. 

Note 50. — Cromwell to Lenthall. Letters and Speeches (Ed. 
Lomas), I. 205. 

Note 51, — He was said to have a following of 4,000 women 
and children. See Nicholas to Rupert, cited by Gardiner, II. 
264 n. 

Note 52. — Wishart (ch. xii.) gives "Craigston," and Napier, 
who is followed by Mr. Gardiner, assumes that he marched north 
to Craigston Castle in Buchan, a detour of thirty miles which would 
have been impossible in the time. Montrose in his letter of the 
6th spells it "Craigton." Craigton-on-Dee is only seven miles 
from Aberdeen, where Lord Gordon was buried, and in the midst 
of friendly country. 

Note 53. — Wishart (ch. xii.) is our only authority for this 
massacre, but he must have had an account of it from the Irish 
after Kilsyth, and, as Murdoch and Simpson point out, they 
showed great exasperation afterwards in the march past the 

Note 54. — Great Civil War, 11. 292-3. 

Note 55. — They corresponded to the "dragoons" of the New 
Model Army and represented the light cavalry of the day. See 
Fortescue's History of the British Artny, I. 216. 

Note 56. — Wishart makes the Gordon contingent 200 horse 
and 120 musketeers on baggage ponies. Patrick Gordon, who 
generally overstates the Gordon forces, gives them 400 horse. 
Montrose had nearly a hundred horse before they joined (Wishart), 


and Ogilvy brought eighty. Gordon probably included the musket- 
eers among the Gordon cavalry. Five hundred seems a reasonable 
estimate for the total Royalist cavalry. 

Note 57. — For a discussion of Highland costume in battle, see 
Gardiner, II. 296 n. and M. and S., 213 n. 

Note 58. — Wishart seems to imply some hesitation in the 
Gordon cavalry, but he is not an unprejudiced witness. There is 
no such reference in any other authority. 

Note 59. — The contemporary authorities for the battle are 
Wishart (ch. xiii.), Patrick Gordon (137, etc.), the Clanranald 
MSS., and Baillie's own account (BaiUie's Letters, II. 420, etc.). 
Mr. Gardiner, from a careful inspection of the ground, has produced 
what must be taken as the final account of the tactics {II. 295- 
300). Napier's narrative is far from clear. 

Note 60. — Digby to Jermyn, Bankes MSS., cited by Gardiner, 
II. 344. 

Note 61. — There was a curious wildness in the Carnwath 
family, conspicuous even in a wild age. Montrose on his way 
north from Oxford found in Newcastle's army, where Carnwath 
was present, a reputed daughter of his, a Mrs. Pierson, command- 
ing a troop of horse under the name of Captain Francis Dalziel. 
She displayed a black banner with the device of a naked man 
hanging from a gibbet and the motto, " I dare." See Napier, 

n. 393- 

Note 62. — Thomas Saintserf in his dedication to the second 
marquis of his translation of the Entertainments of the Course, 
(London, 1658). See Napier, II. 563. 

Note 63. — The document is printed in Memorials of M., I. 
215, and in Napier, I. App. iii. It is in the elder Lord Napier's 
handwriting. Mr. Gardiner agrees with Napier in assigning it to 
this period. 

Note 64. — See the letter in Napier, II. 572-3, and Memorials 
ofM., II. 233-4. 

NOTES. 309 

Note 65. — For the conduct of the Jacobite Traquair, see 
Memorials 0/ /oh?t Murray of Broughion (Scottish History Society, 
1898). Patrick Gordon says that Traquair recalled his son four 
days before the battle ; Wishart, with whom Guthrie agrees, says 
" on the very night." 

Note 66. — Philiphaugh is the most confusing of all Montrose's 
battles, and the most difficult point is the exact route of Leslie's 
march. Sir Walter Scott, apparently following local tradition, in 
his Mmstrehy of the Scottish Border, makes Leslie encamp on the 
night of the 12th at Melrose, and he is followed by Mr. Mowbray 
Morris. For several reasons I find it difficult to accept this view, 
(i.) Leslie was at Gladsmuir when he received the news from Tra- 
quair, or whoever sent it. He knew his enemy, and his object was to 
cut off his retreat into the hills. Therefore he must have chosen 
the shortest route to the opening of the hills at Selkirk. He left 
Gladsmuir the day Montrose left Jedburgh, so he had no time to 
lose. If he had crossed by Soutra, and marched down Leader 
Water, he would have passed Melrose ; but we know that he came 
by Gala (Wishart, ch. xvi.). To follow Gala to its foot below 
Galashiels and then ford Tweed and encamp at Melrose would 
have been a perfectly aimless detour. Further, it seems certain that 
Montrose arrived at Selkirk early in the afternoon of the 12th, and 
his presence there would be known in Galashiels — for he must have 
passed within a mile of it on the opposite bank of Tweed — and com- 
municated to Leslie on his arrival. The easiest way was to march 
from Galashiels by the old Edinburgh-Selkirk road over the hill to 
Rink, and thence by the ford in Tweed below the Rae Weil to 
Sunderland. (2.) Patrick Gordon says definitely that Leslie was 
at Sunderland on the night of the 12th, and if so he could not 
have been at Melrose unless he had left Melrose in the afternoon 
and forded Ettrick. But in that case Montrose would have got 
word of him. Wishart does not mention Sunderland, but he says 
that the Covenanters spent the night four miles from Selkirk, 


which indicates Sunderland rather than Melrose. Further, in 
describing the turning movement executed by Leslie's 2,000, he 
writes " guos adversa atnnis ripa hastes trafismiserant." But they 
would not have crossed Ettrick if they had been coming from 
Melrose till just at the battlefield, and Wishart's words indicate a 
crossing at the beginning of the morning's march. The Covenan- 
ters' account {A More Perfect and Particular Relation., etc., Hadding- 
ton, Sept. 16, 1649) says that Leslie encamped within three miles of 
the enemy. (3.) Local tradition seems also to point to the Galashiels- 
Sunderland route. In the preposterous ballad of the " Battle of 
Philiphaugh " Leslie is said to have sent his right wing round 
Linglie Hill, the height between Yair and Ettrick. Such a move- 
ment would have been impossible to a force coming from Melrose. 
It is not a very likely story, but it shows the popular idea of the 
Covenanting movements. 

Note 67. — Craig Brown's History of Selkirkshire., I. 185, etc. 
As a proof of the attitude of the Lowland peasantry towards 
Montrose, it is said that the woman of the house was busy putting 
a sheep's head into a pot when the general passed the kitchen 
door, and that she declared she wished it was Montrose's head, 
for in that case she would be careful to hold down the lid. See 
Russell's Reminisce?ices of Yarrow. 

Note 68. — Patrick Gordon, 158. Wishart does not mention 
the incident, though he was probably present at the battle. It 
seems to me probable that Amisfield's adventure was supposed at 
headquarters to be merely a brush with the country people, who 
were notoriously hostile to Montrose — Pringle of Blindlee being 
almost the only recorded Royalist in the shire. 

Note 69. — The authorities for the fight are Wishart (ch. xvi.), who 
was an eyewitness, Patrick Gordon (156, etc.), and Bishop Guthrie's 
Memoirs (201, etc.). The Covenanting newsletter issued at Had- 
dington three days later (cit by Lang, III. 158 n.) exaggerates the 
numbersengaged, especially on the Royalist side; these were probably 

NOTES. 3 1 1 

as stated in the text, except that it is difificult to believe that Douglas 
had the 1,200 with whom Patrick Gordon credits him. Leslie's own 
account puts the Royalist force at 2,000, adding, " I never fought 
with better horsemen and against more resolute foot." See The 
Great Victories, 1645, a paper in the Bodleian, cited by M. and S., 
Ivi. He says that the foot were " drawn up amongst the closes," 
which looks as if the Irish had occupied some folds, the buchts of 
Philiphaugh farm. Bishop Guthrie also mentions "a little fold." 
Leslie in after life always referred to Philiphaugh as an easy victory. 
For some of the country stories about it, see Russell's Reminiscences 
of Yarrow and Craig Brown's History of Selkirkshire. The ballad on 
the subject, printed in Scott's Minstrelsy, is probably an eighteenth- 
century production, and of little use as evidence. The ancient 
father who guided Leslie must have been at least 116 at the time, 
for he boasted of having been at Solway Moss, which was fought a 
century before. He was a prophet as well as an ancient, for he 
added that he had been at " curst Dunbar," which was not fought 
till five years later. 

It was not till this book was in type that my attention was called 
to the admirable study of the battle contained in The Trustworthiness 
of Border Ballads, by Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon. Fitzwilliam 
Elliot (1906). Colonel Fitzwilliam Elliot reconstructs the fight 
after a careful study of the authorities, and with the aid of his 
military experience and wide local knowledge. I am glad to find 
that he agrees with my view of Leslie's route. In my narrative I 
have adopted his suggestion as to the reasons why Montrose's scouts 
on the morning of the 13th reported no enemy, and as to the details 
of the flanking march of Leslie's 2,000. As to the incidents of 
the battle his reconstruction is probably as near the truth as we 
are likely to get. I differ from him only — if a civilian may, with 
all deference, differ from a soldier — in the estimate of the relative 
military capacity of Montrose and Leslie. 

Note 70. — Wishart makes him halt for the night at Peebles, 


but as that ancient burgh is only sixteen miles from the battlefield, 
and as the fighting was over by twelve o'clock, it is difficult to 
believe that the fugitives stayed more than a short space to rest. 
On contemporary maps their place of encampment is marked as 
the parks between Neidpath Castle and the town. They probably 
rode on fifteen miles to Biggar before halting for the night. 
Tweeddale as a shire was more royalist than Selkirk. Tait of the 
Pirn and the laird of Hawkshaw did penance for their loyalty, and 
the county furnished the prototype of Sir William Worthy in Allan 
Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd (Pennicuik's Tiveeddale, 99). 

Note 71. — The authorities for the slaughter of the Irish are 
Wishart (ch. xvi.), Patrick Gordon (160), Bishop Guthrie (203) 
and the evidence of Sir George Mackenzie given by Napier (II. 
584, etc.) These, of course, are hostile sources, but we find 
the same story given in a Covenanting tract quoted by M. and S., 
Ivi. The reader will find the little that can be said in extenuation 
in Dr. Mitchell's introduction to the Cotnmission of the General 
Assembly Records, I. (Scottish History Society). It is difficult to 
understand the view taken by some historians that the Irish were 
nameless savages, who by their crimes had forfeited all considera- 
tion from mankind. Patrick Gordon (161) gives us the most 
hostile account of them : " The Irishes in particular were too 
cruel ; for it was everywhere observed they did ordinarily kill all 
they could be master of, without any motion of pity or considera- 
tion of humanity ; nay, it seemed to them there was no distinction 
between a man and a beast ; for they killed men ordinarily with 
no more feeling of compassion and with the same careless neglect 
that they kill a hen or capon for their supper." No doubt it was 
brutal warfare, but we must remembei that Patrick Gordon, as a 
decent Aberdonian, disliked the ruder ^vestern clans. The Irish, 
who were mainly Scottish Macdonalds, slew fiercely, but so did 
the Covenant troops at Philiphaugh and Carbisdale, so did the 
Campbells when Argyll carried fire and sword through the north, 

NOTES. 313 

and so would have the Covenanters in the First Bishops' War if Mon- 
trose had not restrained them . They observed, however, the etiquette 
of war, and they did not murder prisoners as the Covenanters did. 
Even BaiUie protested against that practice; "to this day no 
man in England has been executed for bearing arms against the 
Parliament" {Letters^ II. 322). Nor is there any record, with the 
doubtful exception of the sack of Aberdeen, of that slaughter of 
women which stains the fair fame of the other side. Our evidence 
shows that they were cheery fellows, who cracked jokes in the 
thick of a battle. As for the women, no doubt they stole, but so 
did Leven's Scottish female following (see Nicholas to Digby, 
cited by Gardiner, II. 263 «.). Many of them seem to have been 
of Scottish and even Lowland blood, for among the names of the 
female prisoners in Selkirk jail after Philiphaugh are Dunbar, 
Anderson, Forbes, Lamond, Young, Simson, Tait, Watson, 
Walker, Park, and Stuart: Acts of Parliament, vi. (i) 492. It 
is sometimes argued that the two sets of outrages stand in different 
moral categories, because the Covenanters were inspired by a 
religious creed. But it makes very little difference to the guilt of 
murder whether the murderer slays because his blood is hot in 
battle and he likes doing it, or whether he calmly massacres 
because he is playing at being an early Israelite. 

Note 72. — Guthrie's Memoirs, 243. He is confirmed by Sir 
James Turner, who was present. 

Note 73. — See Patrick Gordon, Wishart, Guthrie, and the 
account of an eyewitness, Robert Burns, a Glasgow bailie (cited 
by Napier, II. 589). 

Note 74. — Guthrie's Memoirs, 208. 

Note 75, — Murray's death seems to have been justified on the 
ground that he had killed a minister. See Acts of Parliament, vi. 
(I) 526. 

Note 76. — Napier took the story from Burns's diary in Maid- 
ment's Historical Fragments, and it has been generally accepted. 


But in the disposition of the Montrose lands by the Committee of 
Estates to Sir William Graham of Claverhouse on February 21, 
1648, provision is made for her liferent. She seems to have died 
shortly afterwards. See Balfour Paul's The Scots Peerage^ vi. 253. 
Her life was so retired that a story like Burns's passed without 

Note 77. — See the letters in Napier, II. 6ig, etc., and the 
itinerary in M. and S., 165 n. 

Note 78. — Life of Robert Blair, 215. (Wodrow Society, 1848.) 

Note 79. — Quoted by Napier, IL, App. viii. For other ex- 
amples of clerical loyalists see Baillie's Letters and ]our?ials, LII. 
35, etc., and Comtfiission of the General Assembly Records, /. 427. 

Note 80. — The letters are printed in Napier, II. 711, etc. 

Note 81. — Memoirs of the Electress Sophia of Hanover. 

Note 82. — The Declaration is printed in M. and S., 267. The 
reply of the General Assembly was published on January 2, 
1650, and the reply of the Estates, written by Wariston, on the 
24th. They are set forth in full in the 1819 edition of Wishart. 

Note 83. — Murdoch and Simpson think he received the king's 
letter in Gothenburg, Lang and Gardiner think at Kirkwall. The 
first place seems to me the more likely, for Harry May, the king's 
messenger, would have some difficulty in finding a ship to sail 
from Gothenburg to the Orkneys after Montrose had gone, and if 
Montrose got the letter at Kirkwall he must have got it immediately 
on his arrival, for he answered it on the 26th of March. 

Note 84. — This tragic letter was printed for the first time by 
Mr. Gardiner in his Charles II. and Scotland in 1660 (Scottish 
History Society, 1894). 

Note 85. — Nicholas to Ormonde. Ormonde Papers, I. 375. 

Note 86. — Napier, II. 654 n. 

Note 87. — Almost our only authority for the Orkney part of 
the campaign is Gwynne's Military Memoirs (Edinburgh, 1822), 
See M. and S., 293. Gwynne was left stranded in Orkney, and 

NOTES. 315 

finally escaped in a herring-boat to Amsterdam, where he was 
found fainting in the streets from starvation. 

Note 88. — The chronology of the period is confused owing to 
the overlapping of the Old and New Styles. The Old Style, 
which I have followed, was about ten days behind the sun. 

Note 89. — By far the best account of the Carbisdale campaign 
is that given by Murdoch and Simpson, 289-321. It is based on 
various contemporary authorities, of which the chief are Gordon of 
Sallagh, an eye-witness (^History of the Earls of Sutherland, Edin- 
burgh, 1813), Balfour's Annales, IV., Monteith's Hist, des Troubles 
de la Grande B re tagne (Paris, 1661), and Taylor's Dunrobin MSS. 
They have also used local tradition — as, for example, in the account 
of the flanking movement of the Monroes and Rosses. 

Note 90. — The only evidence for Kinnoul's death is Gordon 
of Sallagh — a contemporary of the event he chronicles. It 
seems to me unlikely that he would have made a mistake about 
the Kinnoul who fought at Carbisdale, for if he is wrong, then 
William Hay must have been there, and that Kinnoul, famous for 
his escape from Edinburgh Castle in 1654, was a noted personage 
whose doings were public property. If we reject Gordon's story, 
then William is the fourth, not the fifth earl. It is possible that 
Gordon did not know about the death of George, the third earl, in 
Orkney ; and seeing that, after Carbisdale, William received the 
title, assumed that his predecessor had died in the flight to Assynt. 

Note 91. — Miscellany (Scottish History Society), I. 223, cited 
by Lang, III. 216. 

Note 92. — Monro had been out in Pluscardine's rising. 

Note 93. — The question of Assynt's guilt is exhaustively 
examined by Murdoch and Simpson (App. xiii.). They decide 
against him on every count. There is no question about his 
complicity in the surrender of the fugitive, but I cannot find it 
proved that he had ever fought under Montrose, though very 
probably Montrose assumed him to be friendly from his knowledge 


of his connection with Seaforth and Lemlair. For his later fate 
see M. and S. loc. cit, and for a defence see the Old Statistical 
Account of Scotland and Trans, of the Gaelic Society of Inverness^ 
XXIV. 374, etc. Ian Lom's verses are worth quoting. {Cumha 
Mhontroise in Mackenzie's Beauties of Gaelic Poetry, 1841 ; the 
translation is by Sheriff Nicolson) : — 

" I'll not go to Dunedin, 
Since the Graham's blood was shed, 
The manly mighty lion, 
Tortured on the gallows. 

" That was the true gentleman, 
Who came of line not humble, 
Good was the flushing of his cheek 
When drawing up to combat. 

" His chalk-white teeth well closing, 
His slender brow not gloomy ; 
Though oft my love awakes me, 
This night I will not bear it. 

" Neil's son of woeful Assynt, 
If I in net could take thee, 
My sentence would condemn thee, 
Nor would I spare the gibbet. 

" If you and I encountered 
On the marshes of Ben Etive, 
The black waters and the clods 
Would then be mixed together. 

" If thou and thy wife's father, 
The householder of Leime (Lemlair ?) 
Were hanged both together 
'Twould not atone my loss. 

NOTES. 317 

" Stript tree of the false apples, 
Without esteem, or fame, or grace, 
Ever murdering each other, 
'Mid dregs of wounds and knives. 

•' Death-wrapping to thee, base one ! 
Ill didst thou sell the righteous, 
For the meal of Leith, 
And two-thirds of it sour ! " 

Note 94. — The whole of this complicated question has been 
exhaustively discussed by Mr. Lang, III. 221-6. Mr. Gardiner 
{Commonwealth and Protectorate, I. 190, etc.), takes the view given 
in my text. 

Note 95. — Taylor's Dunrobin MSS. 

Note 96. — This narrative, generally called the Wardlaw MS., 
is extensively quoted by Napier, II. 773, etc. It was in the pos- 
session of the late Sir William Fraser of Ledeclune and Morar, but 
I have been unable to trace its present ownership. 

Note 97. — M. and S., 318 «. 

Note 98. — Written in 1676 and published in Edinburgh in 18 15. 

Note 99. — M. and S., App. xii., No. i. 

Note 100. — We have three accounts of Montrose's entry into 
Edinburgh : that of James Fraser, already quoted ; that of the 
Wigton MS. (Maitland Club) ; and the report to Mazarin by the 
French resident in Edinburgh, M. de Graymond. See Napier, II. 
776, etc., and App. iv. 

Note ioi. — Wigton MS. 

Note 102. — Wodrow MSS. in Advocates' Library. The in- 
formant was a Mr. Patrick Simson. Napier, II. 785, etc. For 
Simson see Warrick's Moderators of the Church of Scotland, 1690- 
1740 (Edin. 1 91 3). He had been for some years chaplain at 
Inveraray, and had formed his notions of aristocratic deportment 
on Argyll. 


Note 103. — Relics of these garments were in the possession of 
the Napier family till 191 2, when they were acquired by the Duke 
of Montrose. 

Note 104. — In the Wigton MS., Napier, II. 794, etc. The 
account in the Wigton papers seems to embody the actual words 
of Montrose more than any other narrative. 

Note 105. — Napier, II. 794 n. 

Note 106. — Wardlaw MS. 

Note 107. — The speech is from the Wardlaw MS. Besides the 
account in the Wigton MS., we have a description of the last scene 
by an English correspondent, probably a Commonwealth agent. 
Napier, II. 804, etc. 

Note 108. — Mercurius Cakdonicus, ed. by Saintserf, January 4, 
1661. Napier, II. 826. 

Note 109. — The full account is in Saintserf 's True Funerals 
(1661). Napier, II., App. iii. 

Note iio. — Napier, II., App. i. 

Note hi. — Lang, III. 117 «. 

Note 112. — For an acute study of Mackenzie's modernism, see 
Lang's Sir George Mackenzie : His Life arid Times. (London, 

Note 113. — Reliquice Baxteriance, 51. 

Note 114. — The quotations in the following paragraph are 
from the Discourse on Sovereignty, Napier, I. 280, etc. Com- 
pare Lord Napier's views on the subject in his Short Discourse 
upon some Incongruities in Matters of Estate, printed in 
Memorials of M., I. 70. To "orientate" Montrose's political 
creed in relation to his age would require a treatise. Generally 
speaking, he shows a leaning to the historical and realistic 
school represented by Bodin, Filmer, and Hobbes, as against 
the speculative school of Milton and Harrington. But he 
never reached the rigid monarchical conclusions of the 
former ; indeed, he was more in agreement with such men as 

NOTES. 319 

Samuel Rutherford, whose Lex Rex, pubUshed in 1644, laid down 
Montrose's favourite doctrine that sovereignty is from the people, 
who may in time of extreme necessity resume their power. 
Rutherford's book is mainly a mosaic of Scripture texts, but he 
is sometimes an acute debater. Unlike his friends Napier and 
Drummond of Hawthornden, Montrose accepted the doctrine 
that a prince must be subject to the civil laws of his own 
dominion. But it is in his practical application that he 
goes beyond his contemporaries, for he saw that in a stable 
government the supreme power, while it must be delegated, 
cannot be made divisible. The Kirk was willing enough 
to accept the democratic doctrine of popular sovereignty, but it 
did not appreciate the practical conclusion — that the people cannot 
entrust this power to two conflicting authorities which may both 
claim to represent them. Church and State cannot rule conjointly 
over the same sphere and under the same sanctions. The nation 
may change at its pleasure the delegates who administer its 
sovereignty, but it dare not part with a fraction of the righi of 

Note 115. — The first quotation from Burke is from the Thoughts 
on the Causes of the Present Disco)tte?its, the second from his speech 
in the House of Commons on Constitutional Reform, May 7, 1782, 
and the third from the Reflections on the Revolution in Fratice. 

Note 116. — See page 47. 

Note 117. — Mr. Fortescue's other comment, "A woman in 
emotion and instability" (I. 228), is not very appropriate to one 
of the most patient and resolute of military commanders. 

Note 118. — Great Civil War, 11. 351. 


Abdie, 204. 

Aberdeen, visited by Montrose, 
33; first siege of, 35, 37; 
occupied by the Gordons, 39 ; 
second siege of, 40 ; first battle 
of, 41 ; second battle of, 98, 
99 ; massacre of Royalists in, 
126: raided by Aboyne, 137, 
255, 266. 

Aberfeldy, 86. 

Abemethy-on-Spey, 148. 

Aboyne, James Gordon, Vis- 
count, 39-41, 66, 136, 137, 
144, 153-155, 159, 162, 169, 
184, 200, 203, 221. 

Acts of Classes, The, 233. 

Airlie, castle of, 48. 

Airlie, James Ogilvy, ist Earl 
of, 94, 104, 119, 126, 162, 
169, 193, 199, 209. 

Airth, 165. 

Alford, Battle of, 1 51-15 5, 285, 

Allan Water, 164. 

Alloa, 164. 

Almond. See Callander, Earl of 

Amisfield. See Charteris of 

Angus, Lord. See Douglas, 
Marquis of. 

Annan, river, 72. 

Annandale, James Murray, 2nd 
Earl of, 72, 176. 

Antrim, Randal Macdonnell, 
Marquis of, 63, 67, 70, 73, 
80, 81, 234. 

Arbroath, 131. 

Ardnamurchan, 81, 86. 

Ardvreck, 244, 250. 

Argyll, Archibald Campbell, 8th 
Earl and ist Marquis of, at 
Glasgow Assembly, 34 ; char- 
acter of, 43-46 ; created Mar- 
quis, 54 ; offers reward for 
Montrose's head, 92; at Fyvie, 
loi, 102 ; at Dunkeld, 104; at 
Inverlochy, 1 18-120; at Kil- 
syth, 165-171; opposes "En- 
gagement," 214; beginsalliance 
with Cromwell, 217; witnesses 
Montrose's entry into Edin- 
burgh, 257; his fate, 266; 
policy of, 280, 281. 

Ashburnham, John, 212. 

Assynt. See Macleod of Assynt. 

AthoU clans, 83, 85, 135, 199. 





Atholl, John Murray, ist Earl 

of, 49, 50. 
Auldearn, Battle of, 139-145, 

285, 287, 306. 
Austerlitz, tactics of, 145. 
Avon, river, 195. 
Aytoun, W. E., 298. 

Badenoch, 82, 83, 90, 125, 148, 
160, 238, 245, 305. 

Baillie, General William, of 
Letham, 104, 113, 116, 127, 
128, 130-132, 135, i47-i49> 
150-155. 158, 162, 166-171, 
216, 234, 285, 306, 308; Mr. 
Robert, 33, 39, 99, 100, 114, 
221, 222, 296, 299, 302, 306, 

307> 308. 
Balcarres, Alexander Lindsay, 

ist Earl of, 152-155, 168- 

171, 208. 
Balfour, of Burleigh (Robert 

Arnot), Lord, 86, 95, 97, 150, 

159, 168, 171; Sir James, 

299. 303> 315- 
Balmerino, Lord, 29. 
Balvenie, 103, 148. 
Banchory, 95. 
Baxter, Mr. Richard, 276. 
Beauly, 250, 275. 
Bellie, Kirk of, 126. 
Benderloch, 108. 
Ben Nevis, 117, 304. 
Bergen, 211. 
Berwick, Pacification of, 42, 46, 

Biggar, 193, 312. 
Bishops' War, First, 36-42 ; 

Second, 46-51. 

Blair, Mr. Robert, 123, 220. 
Blair-in-Atholl, 83-86, 105, 198. 
Bonar Bridge, 239. 
Boroughmuir, 255, 266, 268. 
Bothwell, 175, 178, 182, 184. 
Boyd, Lord, 50. 
Brahan Castle, 237, 238, 250. 
Brechin, 127, 129, 131, 132, 

Broadmeadows, 192. 
Buccleuch, Francis Scott, 2nd 

Earl of, 73, 187. 
Buchan, 171, 307. 
Buchanan Castle, 202, 298. 
Buchanty, 86. 
Burke, Edmund, 276, 278, 279, 

Burnet, Gilbert, Bishop of Salis- 
bury, 147, 297, 298 ; of Leys, 

Burns, Robert, 313, 314. 

Callander, 204. 
Callander, James Livingstone, 
ist Earl of, 50, 74, 104, 267. 
Cameron, Clan of, 71, 105, 112, 

Campbell, clan of, 107-109, 

112, 1 18-120; Sir Duncan, of 

Auchinbreck, 113, 118, 120, 

285 ; Sir Mungo, of Lawers, 

138, 144. 

Campsie Hills, 165. 

Cant, Mr. Andrew, 33, 95, 123, 

Carbisdale, Battle of, 239-242, 
271, 285, 315. 

Careston Castle, 132, 306. 

Carisbrooke Castle, 214. 



Carlisle, 75, 157. 

Carmichael, Mr. Frederick, 87. 

Carnegie, see Southesk, Earl of; 
Lady Magdalen, see Mon- 
trose, Marchioness of. 

Carnwath, Robert Dalziel, 2nd 
Earl of, 72, 201, 308. 

Carron, river, 239, 240. 

Cassilis, John Kennedy, 6th 
Earl of, 52, 162, 171, 222. 

Castle Campbell, 163. 

Castle Grant, 204. 

Charles I., King, attempts Tithe 
Reform, 26 ; Ecclesiastical 
innovations in Scotland, 27 ; 
letter of Montrose to, 122; 
rejects Treaty of Uxbridge, 
122; surrenders to Leven's 
army, 206 ; correspondence 
with Montrose, 207, 208 ; 
enters into " Engagement " at 
Carisbrooke, 214; death, 218. 

Charles II., King, 215, 217, 220, 
223, 227, 229-232, 248, 249. 

Charteris, of Amisfield, 176, 190, 
310; Captain Alexander, 237. 

Chattan, Clan, 71. 

Christian V., King of Denmark, 

Christina of Sweden, Queen, 228. 

Clanranald. See Macdonald of 

Clarendon, Edward Hyde, ist 
Earl of, 67, 217, 218, 220, 
297, 299. 

Claverhouse. See Graham of 

Coke, Sir Edward, 300. 

Coldstream, 49. 

Colkitto, 81. See Macdonald, 

Sir Alastair. 
Colquhoun, Sir John, of Luss, 

15. 19- 
Conde, Louis de Bourbon, Prince 

de, 213, 216, 284. 

Corbie Hill, 129, 130. 

Corgarff Castle, 149. 

Corrieyairack, 303. 

Coupar-Angus, 91, 128. 

Covenant, The National, 28-30, 

73> 179. 259. 
Cowal, 108. 

Craigcoinichean, 239, 241. 
Craigton, 159, 307. 
Cranstoun, 185. 
Crathes Castle, 95. 
Crawford, Ludovic, i6th Earl of, 

66, 177, 193, 208, 211. 
Crianlarich, no. 
Crichton, family of, 96, loi. 

6'ifd'also Frendraught, Viscount. 
Crieff, 136. 
Cromwell, Oliver, 58, 60, 75, 

122, 143, 156, 157, 214, 217, 

235. 254, 271, 272, 282-285, 

289, 290, 300, 307. 
Cumbernauld Bond, The, 50, 74, 


Dalziel, "Captain Francis," 

308; Sir John, 176, 192, 202. 
Dee, river, 95, loi, 149. 
Deveron, river, 151. 
Dickson, Mr. David, 33, 123, 

196, 221. 
Digby, George, 2nd Earl of 

Bristol, 67, 122, 156, 173, 188, 

199, 201. 



Dobson, the Painter, 298. 

Don, river, 99, 151, 152. 

Donaldson, Margaret, 91. 

Dornoch, 238. 

Douglas, Sir James, 228, 229; 
William, ist Marquis of, 20, 
176, 184, 186, 191, 192, 199, 

Drum. See Irvine of Drum. 

Drumminor Castle, 200. 

Drummond, David, Master of 
Maderty, 86, 89 ; James, Lord 
(son of Earl of Perth), 87, 89 ; 
John, of Balloch, 153, 210, 
237 ; Sir John, 86 ; Sir Pat- 
rick, 248; William, of Haw- 
thornden, 56, 177, 319. 

Dullatur, 170. 

Dumfries, 72, 74, 201. 

Dunavertie, 195. 

Dunbar, Battle of, 60, 271, 289, 

Dunbeath, 238. 

Dundee, 127-133, 253, 256, 285, 

286, 289. 
Dunfermhne, Earls of, loi. 
Dunkeld, 104, 105, 128, 162,305. 
Dunnottar Castle, 126. 
Dunrobin Castle, 238. 
Dunyveg, 81. 
Dupplin, Lord. See Kinnoul, 

3rd Earl of. 

Edgphill, Battle of, 62, 143. 

Eglinton, Alexander Montgom- 
ery, 6th Earl of, 162, 267. 

Elcho, David, Lord, afterwards 
2nd Earl of Wemyss, 86-90, 
96, 150, 159. 

Elgin, 123, 124, 138, 148, 251. 
Elisabeth, Queen of Bohemia, 

224, 225, 226. 
Elliot, Lieutenant-Colonel Fitz- 

William, 311. 
Elphinstone, Sir George, of 

Blythswood, 16. 
" Engagers," The, 214, 222, 223, 

234, 252. 
Erskine, Lord, afterwards 9th 

Earl of Mar, 50, 185, 192, 

Ettrick, river, i88, 191. 

Fairfax, Thomas, Lord, 71, 

146, 206. 
Falkland, Lord, 291. 
Farquharson, clan of, 105, 252, 

Donald, 126, 142. 
Ferdinand IIL, Emperor, 216, 
Fettercairn, 127. 
Fielding, Basil, 19. 
Fife, 96, 128, 163, 165, 170, 

Findhorn, river, 139. 

Findlater, Lord, 138. 

Fleet, river, 238. 

Fleming, John, Lord, afterwards 

3rd Earl of Wigton, 176, 192 ; 

Sir William, 248, 253. 
Forbes, family of, 96, 138 ; 

Duncan, of CuUoden, 251; 

Sir William, of Craigievar, 98. 
Fordoun, 159, 252. 
Forrester, Lord, 267. 
Forrett, Mr. William, 16, 17, 91. 
Fortescue, Mr. J. W., 284, 306, 

307, 319- 
Forth, river, 13, 65, 128, 164. 



Fowlis, 87. 

Fraser, family of, 96, loi, 138; 
Lord, 97 ; Mr. James, of 
Wardlaw, 250, 251, 263, 317. 

Frendraught, Viscount, 97, 237, 
242, 268, 302. 

Fyvie, loi, 102, 286. 

Galashiels, 309. 

Gala Water, 186, 189, 309. 

Galloway, 73. 

Gardiner, S. R., 44, 73, 92, 131, 

161, 282, 289, 295, 297, 301- 

308, 314, 317, 319. 
Gight, Bog of, 37, 40, 150, 205. 
Gillespie, Mr. Patrick, 123. 
Gladsmuir, 189, 309. 
Glasgow, 33-35, 164, 174, 175, 

179, 183, 195, 255. 
Glencairn, William, 9th Earl of, 

73, 162, 171. 
Glencoe, 82, 114, 166. 
Glen Dochart, no, 303. 
Glen Etive, 114. 
Glenfarg, 163. 
Glengarry. See Macdonnell of 

Glenlivat, 148. 
Glen Muick, 148. 
Glen Nevis, 303, 304. 
Glenorchy, 1 09-1 11. 
Glen Roy, 115, 117, 303. 
Glen Shira, 112. 
Glen Spean, 115, 117. 
Glen Turritt, 117, 303. 
Gordon, house of, 36 ; George, 

Lord, 38, 124, 135, 142, 144, 

i49>. 153-156: James, of 

Rynie, 142, 143; Colonel 

John, 225 ; Lord Lewis, 3rd 
Marquis of Huntly, 94, 97, 
124, 129, 200, 203, 205, 222, 
305 ; Colonel Nathaniel, 95-97, 
126, 153, 176, 177, 185, 195, 
198; of Buckie, 150; of 
Sallagh, 296, 315 ; Patrick, of 
Ruthven, 80, 155, 156, 194, 
296, 298, 301-310, 312, 313; 
Robert, 264. See also under 
Aboyne, Viscount ; Huntly, 
Marquisof; Haddington, Coun- 
tess of; and Sutherland, Earl of. 

Graeme, Sir John the, 14. 

Graham, house of, 14; Lady 
Dorothea, 17, 300 ; Lady 
Katherine, 19; Lady Lilias, 
1 5 ; Lady Margaret, 1 5 ; Lord, 
91, no, 125; Lord David, 
252 ; Lord Robert, 147, 252, 
276; of Balgowan, 267; James, 
of Claverhouse (Viscount 
Dundee), 288 ; of Duntroon, 
267 ; of Gorthie, 208, 267 ; 
of Monzie, 267 ; of Morphie, 
18, 267; Patrick, of Inch- 
brakie, 77 ; Patrick, younger 
of Inchbrakie, 84, 135, 160, 
204, 267 ; Sir Harry, 210, 226, 
237, 238, 242, 267; Sir 
Richard, of Netherby, 72, 
76 ; Sir William, 314. See also 
under Montrose, Marquis of. 

Grange, 253. 

Grant, I>aird of, 124. 

Gray, Thomas, 211. 

Graymond, M. de, 317. 

Gun, Colonel, afterwards Sir 
William, 39, 40. 



Gunnersen, Jens, 209. 
Gustavus Adolphus, 35, 113, 

Guthrie, Andrew, 198; Bishop, 

296, 310-313; Mr. James, 

123, 259, 260. 
Gwynne, Captain John, 314, 315. 

Haddington, Countess of 
(Lady Jean Gordon), 257. 

Haldane, Major, 168, 170. 

Halkerton Castle, 127. 

Halkett, Colonel Robert, 238, 

Hamilton, James, 3rd Marquis 
and ist Duke of, intrigues 
against Montrose at Court, 21 ; 
commissioner to treat with the 
Covenanters, 31-34; char- 
acter of, 32 ; arrives in the 
Forth, 39 ; implicated in the 
" Incident," 54 ; imprisoned 
by the King, 66 ; leads the 
"Engagers," 214, 215; de- 
feated at Preston, 217; death, 
221. See also Lanark, Earl of. 

Hareheadshaw, 189. 

Harlaw, Battle of, 105. 

Hartfell, James Johnston, ist 
Earl of, 72, 176, 195, 197. 

Hay, Colonel James, 96, 104; 
of Dalgetty, 237 ; William, see 
Kinnoul, 5th Earl of. 

Hempsfield. See Amisfield. 

Henderson, Mr. Alexander, 33, 
64, 65. 

Henri IV. of France, 283. 

Henrietta Maria, Queen, 63, 
211, 212, 213, 215, 223, 227. 

Hereford, Siege of, 157, 185. 

Holbourn, Major-General, 234, 
244, 250. 

Hollinbush, 165. 

Home, James, 3rd Earl of, 176, 
187, 267. 

Honthorst, 225, 299. 

Hopton, Ralph, Lord, 220. 

Hotham, Sir John, 62, 63. 

Hume Brown, Professor, 297. 

Huntly, George Gordon, 2nd 
Marquis of, opposes Montrose, 
36 ; sent prisoner to Edin- 
burgh, 38 ; attends Royalist 
gathering, 63 ; heads a rising, 
74 ; refuses support to Mon- 
trose, 100; withdraws clan 
from Royalist army, 149 ; 
withdraws Aboyne, 184; de- 
clines to assist Montrose, 200- 
205 ; death, 221. 

Hurry, Major-General Sir John, 
113, 126, 127, 130-133, 135, 
i37-i45> 208, 210, 234, 237, 
242, 251, 285. 

Hyde. See Clarendon, Earl of. 

Inchbrakie. See Graham of 

" Incident," The, 54, 55. 
Innerpeffray, 19. 
Inveraray, 108, 109, iii. 
Inverlochy, Battle of, 11 7-1 20, 

285, 286, 288, 304, 305. 
Inverness, 113, 115, 139, 205. 
Inverquharity. See Ogilvy of 

Inverurie, 99. 
Irvine, Sir Alexander, of Drum, 



177, 271 ; Alexander, younger 
of Drum, 201. 
Isla, river, 128. 

Jaffray, Alexander, 302. 

James VI. and I., King, 23. 

Jameson, the Painter, 18, 298. 

Jedburgh, 187, 309. 

Jermyn, Lord, 173, 212, 224. 

Johnston, Colonel, 41 ; Sir Archi- 
bald, of Wariston, 33, 227, 
257, 261, 263, 296 ; Sir 
William, 237. 

Keith, 15, 251. 

Keith, family of, see Marischal, 

Earl; Marshal, 290. 
Kelso, 187. 
Keppoch. See Macdonald of 

Kilcumin, 115, 116, 124, 303. 
Kilgraston, 162. 
Kilpont, John, Lord (son of 7th 

Earl of Menteith or Airth), 

86, 91-93- 

Kilsyth, Battle of, 165-171, 287, 
288, 296, 307. 

Kincardine Castle, 15, 16, 17, 
61, 204. 

Kinethmont, Mr. William, 252. 

Kinnai'-d Castle, 18, 252, 298. 

Kinnoul, George Hay, 2nd Earl 
of, 66, 301 ; George, 3rd Earl 
of, 91, 104, 226, 227, 228, 
301, 315 ; 4th (?) Earl of, 237, 
242, 243, 301, 315; William, 
5th (?) Earl of, 301, 315. 

Kintail, 82, 123, 145. 

Kin tore, 99. 

Knox, John, 23, 24, 25. 

Kyle of Sutherland, 238, 239, 

Kyllachy, 204. 

Lachlan, Colonel, 194. 

Lairg, 238. 

Lanark, William, Earl of, after- 
wards 2nd Duke of Hamilton, 
54, 64, 66, 162, 165, 166, 171, 
214, 222. 

Lang, Andrew, 297, 300, 304, 

310. 317, 318. 
Laud, Archbishop, 27, 59. 
Lauderdale, John Maitland, 2nd 

Earl and ist Duke of, 214, 

222, 223. 
Law, Mr. Mungo, 259, 263 ; 

Mr. Robert, 59, 272. 
Lawers. See Campbell of 

Lawers' Regiment, 239, 253. 
Lens, Battle of, 216. 
Leopold, Archduke, 216. 
Leslie, Alexander, see Leven, 

Earl of; David, afterwards 

Lord Newark, 157, 185, 187, 

189-191, 194, 195, 200, 201, 

202, 205, 228, 237, 238, 250, 

Leven, Alexander, ist Earl of, 

53. 64, 66, 100, 146, 157, 185, 

206, 284. 
Lindsay of the Byres, John, loth 

Lord, 52, 147, 148, 149, 159, 

168, 171. 
Linlithgow, 176, 195. 
Linton, Lord (son of 2nd Earl 

ofTraquair), 176, 189. 



Lisle (or Lillie), Major, 210, 237, 

Lochaber, 82, 105, iii, 112, 114, 
115, 123, 125, 166, 304, 305. 

Lochaline, 82, 100. 

Loch Awe, 108, 109, no, 114. 

Loch Earn, 136, 201. 

Loch Eil, 82, 118, 304, 305. 

Loch Etive, 109, 114. 

Loch Fyne, 108. 

Loch Leven, 120. 

Loch Lochy, 115. 

Loch Tay, no, 137. 

Loch Treig, 115, 303, 304. 

Lords of the Articles, The, 47. 

Lorn, 105, 107-114. 

Lorn, Archibald, Lord, after- 
wards 9th Earl of Argyll, 257. 

Lothian, William Kerr, 3rd Earl 
of, 72, 100, 104, 187, 206. 

Lothian's Regiment, 138. 

Loudoun, John Campbell, ist 
Earl of, 29, 171, 214, 257, 260, 

Loudoun Castle, 175. 

Loudoun's Regiment, 138. 

Louis XIV., King of France,'254. 

Louise of Bohemia, Princess, 225. 

Lude, 85. 

Macalain Dubh, Angus, no. 

Macdonald, clan of, 71, 105, 
312; Donald, of Moidart, 
Master of Clanranald, 168 ; 
Ian Lom, 115, 120, 245, 298, 
304. 305. 316, 317; John, of 
Moidart, Captain of Clan- 
ranald, 105, 205 ; Marshal, 
290; of Keppoch, 105; Sir 

James, of Sleat, 205, 234; 
Sorley Boy, 81. 

Macdonald, Sir Alastair, of Co- 
lonsay, lands in Scotland, 81 ; 
marches to AthoU, 82-84 j 
meets Montrose, 84 ; at Tip- 
permuir, 88-90 ; at Aberdeen, 
96-98 ; returns to West High- 
lands, 100 ; descent upon Lorn, 
no; at Inverlochy, 119; at 
Dundee, 129; raises Western 
clans, 135; at Auldearn, 139- 
144 ; returns to Lochaber, 150 ; 
rejoins Montrose, 159 ; at 
Kilsyth, 167; knighted, 178; 
leaves Montrose, 183; death, 
184; character of, 289. 

Macdonnell of Glengarry, 105, 
153, 205. 

Macdonnells of Antrim, 81. 

Macgregor, clan of, 109, 160. 

Mackenzie, clan of, 114, 234, 
235. 238, 239, 245; Sir George, 
275, 312, 318; Thomas, of 
Pluscardine, 222, 234, 299, 

Mackinnon, Ranald, of Mull, 

Maclean, clan of, 105 ; Ewan, 

of Treshnish, 167, 168 ; of 

Lochbuie, 160; Sir Lachlan, 

of Duart, 160, 168. 
Maclear, Sir John, 228. 
Macleod, clan of, 235 ; Neil, of 

Assynt, 243, 246, 315; of 

Skye, 215. 
Macnab, clan of, 160, 303. 
Maderty, John, 2nd Lord, 268. 

See also Drummond, David. 



Manchester, Edward Montague, 

2nd Earl of, 71. 
Mar, John Erskine, 8th Earl of, 

50, 52, 164. 
Marischal, 7 th Earl, 40, 41, 50, 

63, 100, 102, 127, 267, 299. 
Marlborough, ist Duke of, 290. 
Marston Moor, Battle of, 75, 

Mathieson, Mr. W. L., 297. 

Mauchline, 214. 

Maurice, Prince, 68, 225. 

May, Harry, 314. 

Mazarin, Cardinal, 213, 215, 

Meggat, river, 194. 

Melrose, 309, 310 

Melville, Mr. Andrew, 26. 

Menstrie, 165. 

Menteith, 136, 166, 197. 

Menzies, clan of, no; of Pit- 
foddels, 237. 

Methven Wood, 80, 161. 

Middleton, General John, after- 
wards Earl of, 186, 187, 200, 
205, 208. 

Mills of Drum, 95. 

Minchmoor, 192. 

Mingaray, 82, 100. 

Monro, clan of, 238, 240, 241 ; 
General Sir George, 180, 181, 
216; of Achnes, 240; of 
Lemlair, 243, 244, 315, 316. 

Montreuil, 206. 

Montrose, Earldom of, 14. 

Montrose, James, 5th Earl and ist 
Marquis of, ancestry, 14, 15 ; 
birth, 15; education, 16-18; 
marriage, 1 8 ; travels on the 

Continent, 19, 20; appearance 
and manners, 20 ; at the Eng- 
lish Court, 21 ; signs National 
Covenant, 29 ; at Glasgow 
Assembly, 34 ; commands 
Covenant army in the North, 
35-41 ; wins battle at Aber- 
deen, 41 ; prepares the Cum- 
bernauld Bond, 50 ; the 
"Plot," 52; the "Incident," 
54; released from prison, 55; 
his political views, 56-58 ; 
his poetry, 61, 62, 300; at 
Oxford with the King, 66 ; 
appointed Lieutenant-General 
of the Royal forces in Scot- 
land, 68 ; crosses the Border 
and issues manifesto, 72 ; takes 
Morpeth, 75 ; meets Prince 
Rupert, 75 ; reaches the High- 
land line, 77; meets Alastair 
Macdonald at Blair, 84; wins 
Battle of Tippermuir, 90 ; 
wins second Battle of Aber- 
deen, 96-98 ; sack of Aber- 
deen, 99 ; ill at Rothiemur- 
chus, 100; meets Argyll at 
Fyvie, 10 1, 102 ; at Balvenie, 
103 ; at Blair, 105 ; leads raid 
into Lorn, no; wins Battle 
of Inverlochy, 118—120; writes 
to the King, 121 ; receives 
submission of Seaforth, 124; 
drives Hurry out of Angus, 
125-127; sack of Dundee, 
129; retreat from Dundee, 
131; in Menteith, 136; wins 
Battle of Auldearn, 139-145; 
wins Battle of Alford, 151- 



155; wins Battle of Kilsyth, 
165-171; occupies Glasgow, 
174; summons a Parliament, 
179; his statement, 179-182; 
Battle of Philiphaugh, 188- 
192; negotiates with Huntly, 
199-205 ; commanded by the 
King to disband, 207 ; leaves 
Scotland, 210; in Paris, 212; 
at Imperial Court, 216 ; hears 
of death of the King, 218; 
made Admiral of Scotland by 
Charles II., 223; friendship 
with Queen of Bohemia, 225 ; 
collects troops in Northern 
Europe, 226-228; sails for 
Orkney, 229; lands in Caith- 
ness, 237 ; Battle of Carbis- 
dale, 240 ; captured in Assynt, 
244; brought to Edinburgh, 
250-258; trial, 260; execu- 
tion, 263-266 ; the second 
funeral in 1661, 266-268 ; 
story of his heart, 269 ; sub- 
sequent reputation, 274; his 
views, 275-279 ; compared 
with Argyll, 280-282 ; as a 
soldier, 284-290 ; summary, 

Montrose, James, 2nd Marquis of, 
126, 147, 177, 267 ; Magdalen, 
Marchioness of, 18, 147, 314. 

Montrose, town of, 15, 127, 
209, 210. 

Moore, Sir John, 290. 

Morton, William Douglas, 7th 
Earl of, 72 ; Robert, 8th Earl 
of, 226, 228. 

Morvern, 82, 86. 

Mull, 108, 160, 183. 

Murray, Lord, of Gask, see 
TuUibardine, Earl of; Sir John, 
of Philiphaugh, 145 ; Will, 
afterwards Earl of Dysart, 249 ; 
William, 198, 313. 

Musgrave, Sir Philip, 122, 173. 

Napier, Archibald, ist Lord, 
of Merchiston, marries Lady 
Margaret Graham, 1 5 ; opposes 
Churchmen in politics, 27; 
refuses to sign the Covenant, 
30 ; implicated in the " Plot," 
5 1 ; associated with Montrose, 
65 ; imprisoned, 146; released, 
176; escapes from Philip- 
haugh, 192; death, 202; politi- 
cal views, 318. 

Napier, Archibald, 2nd Lord, 

136, 153. 176, i77» 192. 204, 
209, 213; Lady (Lady Eliza- 
beth Erskine), 268 ; Lilias, 
213; Mark, 17, 295, 296, 297, 
298, 299, 300, 301, 302, 304, 
305. 306, 307, 308, 312, 313, 
314, 315. 316. 

Naseby, Battle of, 156, 161. 

Netherby, 76. See also Graham 
of Netherby. 

Newark Castle, 194. 

Newark, Lord. See Leslie, David. 

Newburn, Battle of, 51. 

Newcastle, William Cavendish, 
Earl and ist Duke of, 67, 

Newtyle, 148. 
Nicholas, Mr. Secretary, 220, 

232, 307, 313. 



Nicolson, Alexander, 316. 
Nisbet, Sir Philip, 196. 
Nithsdale, Robert Maxwell, 2nd 

Earl of, 63, 66, 72, 201, 234. 
North Esk, river, 94, 133. 

DcHiL Hills, 15, 164. 

Dgilvy, James, 9th Lord, after- 
wards 2nd Earl of Airlie, 48, 
63. 65, 66, 71, 75, 76, 106, 
177, 184, 186, 195, 197, 209; 
of Inverquharity, 196 ; of 
Powrie, 237; Sir David, 94; 
Sir Thomas, 94, 119, 120. 

D'Kean, Colonel, 112, 119, 153, 
184, 194, 303. 

Drd of Caithness, 237, 238. 

Drkney Islands, 226, 228, 229, 
236, 241. 

Drmonde, James Butler, ist 
Duke of, 224, 232, 301. 

Dxford, 66-68, 206, 299. 

Dykell, river, 238. 

Peebles, 193, 311, 312. 
Perth, 90, 91, 158, 160, 255. 
Perth, John Drummond, 2nd 

Earl of, 50, 53. 
Petty, 204. 
Philiphaugh, Battle of, 188-191, 

271, 285, 286, 309-311. 
Pitcaple Castle, 252, 
^' Plot," The, 51-53. 
Pluscardine. See Mackenzie of 

Porter, Endymion, 67. 
Preston, Battle of, 217, 233. 
Primrose, Sir Archibald, 178. 
Pym, John, 44, 51, 62. 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 16, 262, 

Ramsay, Allan, 312. 
Rannoch, 109, 115. 
Rattray, 208. 
Reay, Donald Mackay, ist Lord, 

177, 201. 
Retz, Cardinal de, 20, 213, 285, 

Richmond, 75. 
Rink, 189, 309. 
Rollo, Sir James, of Duncrub, 

17, 65, 118, 267, 300; Sir 

William, 75, 76, 96, 195, 196. 
Rosebery, family of, 178. 
Roseneath, 108, 112. 
Ross, clan of, 238, 240, 241. 
Rothes, John, Earl of, 28, 29, 255. 
Rothiemurchus, 100, 302. 
Roxburgh, Robert Ker, ist Earl 

of, 72, 176, 187, 267. 
Rupert, Prince, 75, 217,225,306. 
Rutherford, Mr. Samuel, 60, 318. 

St. Andrews, 17, 18. 
Saintserf, Thomas, 20, 156, 298, 

307. 308. 318. 

Scone, 52. 

Scott, Sir James, of Rossie, 87- 
89; Sir Walter, quoted : "The 
Antiquary," 88, 299; "Legend 
of Montrose," 92 ; " Old 
Mortality," 141, 221; "Min- 
strelsy of the Scottish Border," 

309. 311- 
Seaforth, George Mackenzie, 2nd 

Earl of, 82, II 3-1 1 5, 124, 
138, 145. 205, 222, 229, 234, 
245, 267. 



Selkirk, i88, 190, 191, 309, 313. 
Sherburn, Battle of, 201. 
Shin, river, 238. 
Sibbald, Colonel, 76, 103. 
Simson, Mr. Patrick, 317. 
Sinclair, family of, 238, 242, 

243; John, 7th Lord, 74; 

Sir John, of Dunbeath, 238. 
Skene, 137, 306. 
Skibo Castle, 237, 250. 
Sma' Glen, The, 86. 
Small, James, 134. 
Solemn League and Covenant, 

The, 64, 260, 261, 274. 
South Esk, river, 94, 127, 132, 

Southesk, David Carnegie, ist 

Earl of, 18, 36, 147. 
Southwell, 206, 
Spalding, John, 38, 99, 137, 297, 

301, 302, 306. 
Spey, river, 103, 148, 203, 204, 

251. 303> 306. 
Spottiswoode, John, 210; Sir 

Robert, 106, 178, 188, 195, 

Stewart, Adjutant, 192, 194; 

James, of Ardvoirlich, 91-93; 

John, of Lady well, 52 ; Sir 

Archibald, of Blackball, 52; 

Walter, of Traquair, 52. 
Stewarts of Appin, 105, 109. 
Stirling, 14, 15, 65, 158, 164, 

.171. 255. 
Stirling, Lady, of Keir, 74, 176; 

Sir George, of Keir, 51, 147, 

176, 306. 
Stonehaven, 41, 126, 209. 
Stormont, Lord, 52. 

Strachan, Colonel Archibald, 

234, 238-241, 245, 247. 
Strathbogie, loi, 102, 126, 148, 

200, 203. 
Strathbran, 86., 
Strathnaver, 74, 242. 
Strathnaver, Lord, son of Earl 

of Sutherland, 267. 
Strath Oykell, 238, 239, 242. 
Sunderland, 189, 190, 309, 310. 
Sutherland, John Gordon, Earl 

of, 237, 239, 267. 
Sydserf. See Saintserf. 

Tain, 239, 244, 250. 

Tarff, river, 117, 303. 

Tay, river, 13, 78,86,91,104,128. 

I'hurso, 238, 242. 

Tippermuir, Battle of, 87-90, 

119, 285, 288, 301. 
Tithes, question of, 23, 24, 26. 
Traill, Mr. Robert, 259, 263. 
Traquair, John Stewart, 2nd 

Earl of, 46, 72, 75, 176, 186, 

189, 193' 309- 
TuUibardine, James Murray, 4th 

Earl of, 87, 198. 
TulUbelton, 77, 79. 
Turner, Sir James, 74, 206, 296, 


Turriff, 36, 39, 126, 200. 

Tweed, river, 49, 187, 189, 309. 
Tweeddale, John Hay, ist Earl 

of, 267. 
Tyndrum, no. 

Ulstermen. See Macdonald, 

Sir Alastair. 
Uxbridge, Treaty of, 122. 



Vandyke, 299. 

Vane, Sir Harry, the younger, 


Wariston. See Johnston of 

Weir, Major, 262. 
Wellington, ist Duke of, 290. 
Wester Fearn, 239, 240. 
Wigton, John, 2nd Earl of, 50. 
Wigton MS., 258, 317, 318. 
William the Silent, 283. 

Wishart, Mr. George, afterwards 
Bishop of Edinburgh, 87, 106, 
115, 130, 133, 177, 185, 203, 
210, 215, 255, 271, 295, 296, 
301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 
307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 

Wodrow, Mr. Robert, 259, 317. 

Wood, Mr. James, 210. 

Yarrow, river, 188-191. 
Ythan, river, loi, 102. 



The l.arquis of Montrose .AJBS